WNY state senator wants funding for school resource officers

State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announced the plan Monday, saying it should to be included in the 2018-19 State Budget. (Photo: Sen. Gallivan)

Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) A New York State senator is calling for the upcoming state budget to fund school resources officers in all New York schools.

State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announced the plan Monday, saying it should to be included in the 2018-19 State Budget.

The program currently exists in some schools districts and places a trained law enforcement officer inside schools to deter and prevent negative situations, including ones such as the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week. That particular school did have a school resource officer at the school at the time of the shooting, but the officer never interacted with the shooter.

Officers work on school safety plans with administrators and staff, and also visit classrooms and coordinate with teachers to present information on Internet and social media safety, drug and alcohol abuse, heroin and opioid use.

“As a former state trooper and Erie County Sheriff, I believe strongly in the SRO program as a way to ensure safety in our schools and build a positive relationship between law enforcement officers and students,” Gallivan said. “In addition to providing security, these officers work with school administrators, staff, students and parents to help identify safety issues, train personnel and resolve conflicts before they become more serious.”

Gallivan said the state should incentivize school districts to hire the officers and move to convert existing part-time positions into full-time positions.

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