Schools won’t seek funding for armed officer in buildings

At school board committee meetings last month, the possibility of applying for a state grant that would have placed armed law enforcement in district buildings was debated.

At last Monday evening’s meeting of the Warren County School District’s board of directors, the administration said that was no longer being considered.

Board President Arthur Stewart asked what costs the district would be responsible for.

Superintendent Dr. William Clark, who said the item was inadvertently not pulled from the agenda, said, “You would take on the salary for that individual.”

He explained that a district police officer, due to jurisdictional issues, would not be able to serve throughout the district but a school resource officer could, “work with other townships.”

Clark said the administration intended to pull the item from the agenda, “because of the future (funding) commitment,” which required the district to fund the position for two years after the conclusion of the grant.

Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart said that as administration started assembling data for the grant application “although we may think we have some issues, (the) data is not there to exhibit a significant need, which is a good thing.”

The board did approve a grant application through the state Safe School Initiative Targeted Grant for Equipment to, according to the motion approved on the consent agenda, “acquire security-related technology for use in the schools of the Warren County School District.”

Clark said the “grants for equipment would serve the district at a better point at this time.”

Had the district pursued the officer option, board member Mary Ann Paris asked whether the intent was to place that person in a specific building or have him or her serve district-wide.

“My thought would be someone district-wide,” said Clark. “There is benefit to having one in one school all the time,” but he noted that the technology grant option will provide more benefit to the district.