Rep. Tom Reed is among 11 members of Congress who are proposing a bill to fund hiring additional school resource officers.
The School Resource Officer Act was introduced last year, but was not brought to the floor for debate or vote. If passed, law enforcement agencies would hire more school resource officers (SROs) through cost-share grants to pay for their salaries and benefits. The grants would cover 75 percent of the salary and benefits; the local agency would cover the rest.
Under the proposal, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program at the Department of Justice at $300 million each fiscal year. The bill would fund the program for the next four years.
Approximately 30 percent of COPS hiring funds would be designated to pay for those salaries and benefits. Each agency would be able to pay officers a maximum of $125,000 each.
“We continue to receive tremendous amount of input from across the district while listening to superintendents, teachers, parents, mental health and law enforcement personnel about ways to make schools safer,” Reed said in a statement. “From those conversations, it was clear we need to continue our emphasis on giving schools the ability to integrate School Resource Officers into their overall safety plan.”