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Lancaster County School District Receives Funding to Boost School Safety with Additional Resource Officers and New Security Technology

School Resource Officer in classroom

Lancaster County School District Secures Funding to Hire more School Resource Officers

School Safety and Targeted Violence Bill provides funding to hire more SROs

In a significant move to improve school safety, the Lancaster County School District in South Carolina has secured funding to hire additional School Resource Officers (SROs). This comes as the state governor, Henry McMaster, recently signed a School Safety and Targeted Violence Bill. The landmark bill has made available over $13 million for hiring up to 175 school resource officers across the state.

According to the state, this funding will ensure the presence of a certified law enforcement officer in every school, in every county, throughout the school day. The Lancaster County School District is set to benefit from this initiative as it seeks to fill nine district SRO positions.

Increased Safety and Presence in Schools

School officials have confirmed that the nine openings are all that remain to have an SRO in every school, primarily at the elementary level. Lonnie Plyler, the Director of Safety and Transportation for the Lancaster County School District, specified that the funding covers everything, such as SRO salaries, transportation, fringe benefits, and more.

However, the challenge lies not in the funding but in finding the manpower. “The money is there for us, it’s just that we have to get people to apply to be an officer and get them through the Academy,” Plyler commented.

The availability of funding, Plyler noted, certainly alleviates budgetary concerns for precious resources. He also praised the government’s mandate, which significantly impacts their cost management. “It has a great impact but, like I said, it’s just the Sheriff’s Office and cities being able to hire somebody to bring them in,” Plyler said.

Improving School Safety with Technology

Apart from hiring more SROs, the Lancaster County School District is also planning to launch a new program called Safer Watch. This unique feature allows teachers to press one button on their phone to alert law enforcement in case of an emergency.

The Safer Watch program is scheduled to start by the end of March. Once in place, Lancaster County School District will be the only full district in the state to have this emergency notification feature, asserting its commitment to student safety over all else.

HERE Rock Hill
Author: HERE Rock Hill

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