Prince William revises school safety standards

Kathy Stewart,

WASHINGTON – A local leader is changing his mind about the presence of officers in schools in the wake of the school shooting that killed 26 people last month in Newtown, Conn.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Cory Stewart originally pushed to cut the number of police officers in county schools due to budget problems. He estimated the cuts could save around $500,000 in the new fiscal budget.

However, Stewart is now pushing to increase the number of school resource officers throughout the county.

“Originally, I had anticipated moving some of the school resource officers out of middle schools and back on patrol,” says Stewart, who explains that the Connecticut school shooting changed his mind on the proposal.

Currently, all of the county’s 11 high schools have their own resource officers. The county’s middle schools share just a few officers.

Stewart now wishes for all middle schools to have SROs and to have rotating SROs in elementary schools.

“We can always do better,” he says. “We are going to look at ways to improve school security, even if (it) means spending a little bit more money on that.”

According to Stewart, the county is in the process of reviewing all school security procedures.

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