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Michigan State Police grants will help schools hire resource officers

Torrance Police Department
Michigan is sending $25 million to selected school districts to hire and train school resource officers to assist with safety programs and crisis management.

The state is rolling out grants to help schools hire resource officers to be on hand to help with campus safety and crisis management. The grants will add up to nearly $25 million. The money will go to 195 local and intermediate school districts and charter schools with a focus on smaller schools that don’t already have resource officers.

“These grant awards will not only help to provide better safety in our school buildings by increasing the number of schools throughout the state with at least one SRO (school resource officer), but very importantly, by prioritizing smaller schools in more remote areas, we will reduce the time it takes for a police response in the event of an emergency,” said Colonel Joe Gasper, the director of the Michigan State Police, in a written statement.

Schools are expected to pick up half the costs of salaries, benefits and training the officers with the expectation that districts will fully fund the resource officers after three years.

“They might also work with their local law enforcement to see if there’s some sort of sharing of expenses, but that’s really up to the school district and the local law enforcement agency involved in terms of how that would be budgeted,” said Kim Root, who manages the Michigan State Police Office of School Safety.

Root said school resource officers have to complete law enforcement training and be certified by the state.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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