Hawley seeks state funding for resource officer for every school in NY
State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, has sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie asking for $50,000 in state funding for each school in the state to hire an armed school resource officer.
Hawley said he is making the request in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, when 17 people were shot and killed.
“I hereby request that you provide an additional $50,000 a year toward the cost per armed school resource officer for every New York State school in this year’s budget,” Hawley wrote to Heastie.
Hawley is also requesting that the salary cap for retired police officers serving as school resource officers be raised from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. This is in addition to his proposal to recruit veterans and retired law enforcement to bolster security at schools.
“A mother in my district actually purchased a bullet proof vest for her 16-year-old son subsequent to a shooter threat in his high school,” Hawley wrote to Heastie. “How incredibly heartbreaking it has come to this! I vehemently urge that you seriously consider these measures and any other that you feel will create an environment that is safe and secure for our most cherished and vulnerable constituents, our children.”
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association last month also called upon the State Legislature to include funding to provide at least one armed school resource officer at every grade school and high school in the state.
There are about 4,750 public schools and nearly 2,000 private schools educating students in grades K through 12 in the state, according to the Sheriffs’ Association.
If the state approved the measure, it would cost $237.5 million to pay for 4,750 school resource officers at $50,000 a year for the public schools. Including 2,000 officers for private schools would cost another $100 million.