Actions

Carroll Co. schools staffed with deputies

Officials hoping for SRO's by next fall
Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 18:14:20-04

Today marked a new layer of security for Carroll County students.

Sheriff's deputies are now stationed at schools around the area, a decision in response to Parkland, Florida and then emboldened by Great Mills, Maryland.

"What this program does is that this places a deputy at the school for the course of the day," said Carroll County Schools Supervisor of Security Duane Williams.

Williams said the new security plan was supposed to start Wednesday but the district was closed because of snow.

Friday is the first day many schools saw a Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy stationed inside the building, not every school gets an officer but Williams says students are safer.

"Some is better than nothing for sure and as we saw in St. Mary's county when you have an officer that is on the scene that can respond quickly, you've eliminated a large portion of the response time for an officer."

Staffing the schools with sheriff's deputies is costing the taxpayers here about 300 thousand dollars for the rest of this school year but it is only a stop-gap measure.

Next year school officials are looking at instituting a permanent Student Resource Officer program for 1.3 million dollars.

Carroll County Board President, Commissioner Dennis Frazier says he thinks the schools need it.

"We're hoping to get some assistance for the state and federal government but even if that comes about and different counties and states get the money, does that mean we get any and if it does, how much?"

It will come at a cost Frazier said, but it would pay for more than just security.

As a part time teacher himself, Frazier says SRO's are also counselors and role models, all serving to better and more consistently prevent tragedy.

"Well we have the support of the parents and the community to put the officers in the school. How are we going to pay for it is another story and I am just not sure how that is going to go," Frazier said.

He is hoping for help from Annapolis or the federal government, both of which do not appear to be a sure thing.

Still, Frazier says he thinks he can find the money by the county's budget deadline of late May, hoping to develop this stop gap security into a full time first defense.