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Orleans legislators will ask state to fund school resource officers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2018 at 5:22 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature next week will ask the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve funds to hire a school resource officer for every elementary and secondary school in the state.

That resolution by the County Legislature is scheduled to be voted on at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Legislature’s chambers at the County Clerk’s Building.

It follows a push by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association to have a school resource officer in every school in the state. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley also supports the measure.

“Our children are deserving of the best protection possible when they are away from their homes and in the care and custody of our educational institutions,” according to the resolution to be voted on the County Legislature. “We are, unfortunately, in an era where children in schools have too often become a target for evil persons wishing to cause mayhem and terror.”

Hawley has urged Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for $50,000 in state funding for each school in the state to hire an armed school resource officer.

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 approves 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.

“Due to budget constraints, tax caps and limited sources of revenue, it is beyond the fiscal capability of many school districts and other local government entities to fund the placing of an armed police officer in every school,” according to the county resolution.

County legislators, in their proposed resolution, said an armed police presence would increase the safety of children and school facilities.

“The current threat to the safety of our children in their schools is a public safety emergency requiring a statewide response by our state government, with its multiple revenue sources, to address this emergency,” the resolution states.

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