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Livingston County schools to get nearly $300k for hiring resource officers

Livingston County schools are among 195 school districts that will receive nearly $25 million to support the hiring of 195 school resource officers (SROs) for the next three years. 

The program, announced Tuesday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, is expected to improve safety and security for more than 334,000 students in our state. 

 “Every parent wants their kids to be safe at school,” said Whitmer. “These grants will help us hire almost 200 more School Resource Officers so we can make sure our children, teacher, and staff are safe at school. Let’s keep working together to make record investments in our students and improve their classroom experience, build up school infrastructure, hire excellent educators, and invest in their comprehensive well-being, from mental health to safety.”   

Locally, the largest grant went to the Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA) in Howell. Representing all 27,421 students in publicly-funded schools in Livingston County, LESA will receive $200,000.

However, Pinckney Community Schools with its 2,120 students will also receive $97,500 through the program.

Also receiving funds are Fenton Area Public Schools, which will get $143,420 for its 3,100 students and Williamston Community Schools, which will get $81,900 for 1,862 students.

According to a press release, a panel consisting of representatives from education and policing awarded the grants, giving priority to schools and school districts without a school resource officer currently in place, as well as schools from more communities with lower student enrollment and less total per pupil funding.

These funds administered by the Michigan State Police (MSP), Grants and Community Services Division, may be used to support salaries, benefits and training for SROs, which are law enforcement officers responsible for keeping students safe in school. A 50 percent match is required to be provided by the applicant jurisdiction.  

“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, 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 MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper.  

The $19.6 billion K-12 schools education budget, signed in July by Gov. Whitmer, allocated the $25 million specifically for schools to hire more on-campus school resource officers.

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