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A wish list of 12 additional school resource officers doesn’t look like it will come true this year for Roane County Schools.
Commissioner Bobby Collier said the additional officers and other security enhancements were discussed by school and county officials at a joint meeting on May 2.
“We did not vote to do that,” Collier said, about requesting 12 additional resource officers.
Collier, chairman of the Roane County Commission’s Safety
Committee and Emergency Services Committee, said instead they asked to see an alternative plan.
“I thought the best thing to do was come back and look at a plan B,” he said.
“Hopefully we can agree on that, and then come back and make that a part of the schools’ proposal when they come to us at the end (of the budget process).”
The cost for installing cameras in every school is $1.1 million, according to a presentation Roane County Board of Education Member Danny Wright gave at a meeting on April 25.
Collier, who also serves on the county’s budget committee, said the cameras along with the 12 additional resource officers would require a 20-cent increase on the property tax rate.
That doesn’t include any increase the schools may request to make up a budget shortfall.
“I really think that they’re going to have to take whatever we can agree on — if we agree on anything — and put it in their budget,” Collier said.
The focus on increased school security is in response to the shooting rampage that occurred last December at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
A gunman entered the school and killed 20 children and six adults.
Roane County has 17 schools and six school resource officers.
An additional 12 would allow the county to have a resource officer in every school plus someone who could serve as a supervisor.