WASHINGTON — Montgomery County officials say they didn’t get the level of state aid they needed, so County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett is proposing adding money to the budget to put eight more resource officers in high schools.
Assistant Police Chief Betsy Davis says police in the schools play a variety of important roles.
“We’re a deterrent; I think we’re a role model; we’re a friend sometimes,” Davis says.
Of course, their first role is as protector.
“Someone can come into any building and start shooting,” she says.
But the rest of the time, officers help with other school tasks, and that kind of interaction with students helps them “see us in a different light.”
The Montgomery County SRO program was established in the 2003-2004 school year with 32 new police officers positioned in selected middle and high schools. Over the years, the program dwindled because of budget constraints and at one time there were nine SRO positions, according to the council’s website.
After Fiscal Year 2012, the program grew and added officers from around the county.
Leggett’s recommended FY15 budget funds two additional SRO positions. On April 10, the Public Safety Committee recommended that the council consider added eight additional SRO positions.
The council is scheduled to reach a tentative agreement on the budget on May 15 and is scheduled to formally adopt the budget on May 22. The budget will go into effect on July 1.