A school resource officer is an approved addition to the staff in the West County School District.
The West County School Board approved adding this position at the October board meeting.
The district continues to look for funding through various grant possibilities to pay for this position. They are also open to working with local and county law enforcement. If no resources become available, the district will have no other choice but to fund this position from its budget.
The need for an SRO is to ensure the district maintains a safe and secure environment for its students and staff. The SRO will not act in a law enforcement capacity. He or she will conduct educational events for students and the community and present information on topics that impact students and their families on a daily basis. Some of these topics might include vaping, online communications, drugs and more.
The SRO will become an important liaison between the schools and other departments such as the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, Leadwood Police Department and the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division.
The district will post the job for this new position in all local law enforcement agencies, Mineral Area College’s criminal justice building and on the school district’s website.
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The SRO will be chosen through an interview committee consisting of a teacher, parents, local law enforcement, administration and board members.
Interviews are expected to be held in December. The SRO will begin second semester, which starts in January.
“Having a school resource officer is very important,” said West County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Coffman. “Nothing is more important than student safety. The first and foremost job a school must provide is an educational environment that is conducive to learning. Students must have a safe environment in which to learn.”
Coffman said the addition of an SRO is a big decision for the district.
“It was a decision that has been looked at and discussed for a long time before deciding to move forward,” he said. “The board of education has done their due diligence in investigating all options and feel this is the best one at this time. Our goal is to maintain a safe and positive environment for our students to grow and learn.”