For Immediate Release – June 17, 2013
Office of the Governor
Contact: Paul Shanks
Phone: (804) 225-4262
Governor McDonnell Announces New School Resource Officers
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that twenty-four Virginia cities and counties will soon be able to provide school resource officers (SROs) in schools where none are currently assigned, thanks to grants just approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board.
Funding for the grants originate from a $1.3 million appropriation requested by Governor McDonnell and approved by the General Assembly earlier this year. The recommendation was one of a series of recommendations from the Governor’s Taskforce on School and Campus Safety, convened after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Creating a safe learning environment is paramount to insuring a high quality education. This is a vital part of our efforts to do everything we can to assure safe and secure schools for every Virginia student. We must continue to make it a priority to protect our children and those who have taken on the responsibility of caring for them while they are in the classrooms.”
In addition to providing funding for these grants, the governor and members of the Virginia General Assembly worked together on a number of school and campus safety measures that the governor detailed at a legislative signing ceremony on June 5, 2013. They include: providing additional funds for security equipment in older schools; training for school personnel, first responders and others; and expanding mental health and crisis services.
The SRO grants approved by the Board will provide funding for the salaries and benefits for school resource officers in 42 elementary, middle and high schools around the state that do not currently have an officer assigned there. Localities receiving grants will provide matching funds, with the amounts based on the Department of Education’s Composite Index of Local Ability-to-Pay.
Thirty-seven localities across the Commonwealth submitted applications in response to the solicitation that was issued earlier this spring by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). They requested more than $2.6 million in funding for 83 SROs.
Review by the DCJS staff and a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Services Board resulted in recommendations to the full Board that were approved at the Board’s June 13 meeting.
A complete list of localities receiving awards can be found below:
|City of Bristol||Elementary|
|City of Buena Vista||High|
|City of Colonial Heights||Elementary|
|Grayson||Combine Elem and Middle|
|Isle of Wight||Elementary|
|City of Martinsville||Elementary|
|City of Newport News||Middle|
|Page||Elementary and Middle|
|Town of Tazewell||Middle and High|