POQUOSON, Va. - The Poquoson City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to expand the school resource officer program during Monday night's meeting.
This will not immediately place an SRO in all schools within the Poquoson City Public Schools system, but it does lay out a path to achieving this goal no later than the 2023-2024 school year.
The ordinance will appropriate funds to support the expansion of the police department school resource officer program.
According to the ordinance, the city established its SRO program and wants to expand it to also include Poquoson Primary School and Poquoson Elementary School. The city council will discuss adding two more school resource officers by the 2023-2024 school year.
“Our kids deserve to go to school to learn and make friends and create memories. They shouldn’t have to worry about going to school and wondering, 'Am I going to be OK? Is someone going to come in and hurt me?'" said parent Rita Hefner.
Poquoson City Manager Randy Wheeler said the city has had the SRO program since 2018. There is currently an SRO in the middle and high schools.
“We have a wonderful community here that really supports our schools that care about public safety that care about community safety, so this is just an extension of that," Wheeler said.
Wheeler is asking the council to set aside $150,000 from the General Fund to fund a third school resource officer for the 2022-2023 school year for the Poquoson primary and elementary school.
The requested funding would include all personnel costs associated with the position, as well as the cost of a vehicle and any equipment. Wheeler's proposal also asks the council for permission to apply for grants to fund the fourth SRO by 2023.