- Published on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 23:21
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve spending $635,000 to place School Resource Officers at all public schools throughout the end of the school year at their January 7, meeting.
Part of the cost will be split between the County and the School System with municipalities chipping in to cover some of the cost with additional officers.
The Carolina Beach Town Council voted at their January 8th meeting to hire an additional police officer to serve as a resource officer at Carolina Beach Elementary School.
Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin said, "Right now there is a deputy sheriff that is at our elementary school full time from 7:15 to 3:15 every day and they can fund that through January. They are asking for us to come up with more coverage throughout the remainder of the school year."
Parvin said currently Carolina Beach Police Officers provide traffic control in the mornings and afternoons and officers could patrol the school at regular intervals.
He said the Sheriff's Department would prefer the Town hire a full time officer to be at the school five days a week.
Police Chief Kurt Bartley said, "I have spoken to the Sheriff today several times and it's his position that we can look at it two ways. We can put our own officer in the school permanently and work with him as far as training... or he's going to put a deputy in. He's not agreeable to walking the halls every two hours."
Bartley said, "It's either he will put a deputy in or we will put a police officer there." He said adding a full time police officer would provide additional manpower in the busy summer season when school is not in session.
Bartley said he would prefer a Carolina Beach Police Officer be hired to provide security and act as a resource officer.
Mayor Bob Lewis said it provides a safe environment for the kids and someone kids can turn to when needed.
Bartley said, "I have found some surplus money in our budget so I'm not looking for a whole lot of money."
The Council will have to vote on a budget amendment to allocate the funds to hire the additional officer.
The Council voted unanimously to hire the additional officer with training provided by the Sheriff's Department as a School Resource Officer.
Councilman Shuttleworth said, "There are very few things that government is supposed to do and protection is one of them. It's not a matter of a budget issue for me."
In the wake of the Friday December 14, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut resulting in the deaths of twenty students and six staff members, New Hanover County Schools are taking additional steps to ensure security at area schools.
On Tuesday December 18, a Carolina Beach Police vehicle was parked in front of Carolina Beach Elementary School. Inside, New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies were inspecting security in the school that serves around 450 students.
Earlier this week Wilmington police chief Ralph Evangelous said four of his officers would be provided at area schools.
New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White explained Monday January 7, the funding approved by their board will provide a short-term solution for the remainder of the school year, but more work will be needed to find a long-term solution.
There are already school resource officers at high school and middle schools throughout the County. The combined efforts of the County, School Board and municipalities will help place officers at all elementary schools.