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Michigan to fund nearly 200 school districts with school resource officers for safety measures

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Beecher Community Schools District receives funding for SRO

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -  A new year brings new legislation and school safety is at the top of the list.

Governor Whitmer will send money to almost 200 districts to hire school resource officers.

The program is designed to improve the safety and security of buildings across the state.

The mission is to keep our kids safe with a $25 million grant that will be shared by districts across the state impacting more than 334,000 students.

The money will be allocated to hire 195 school resource officers and at least one that will end up in the Beecher Community Schools.

"You think of a police officer in the school, you think of criminal activity but it's really more than that," said Beecher Community Schools Superintendent, Richard Klee.

Student safety has been a top priority for school districts in the days after the 2021 Oxford High School Shooting and helping them with that mission - $180,000 coming from the Whitmer administration to beef up security.

Superintendent Richard Klee says that this funding holds more weight than safety.

"It's a big piece of making sure that the place is safe and secure," Klee said. "But more than that, establishing a friendly relationship between the local police department and students in the school."

The dollars were given to districts that currently do not have an SRO and communities with lower student enrollment and per pupil funding - money the Superintendent says was much needed in his district of 600 students.

"Beecher is a high need district and we're in high poverty, an underserved community so any extra help that we can have is appreciated," he said.

Klee says having a dedicated Resource Officer in the building will allow the district to respond to any potential threat right away - especially when time is of the essence.

"Having a Resource Officer in the building gives you that at-the-elbow kind of advice so if we receive a threat they can pursue it right away," said Klee. "There's no lag time between our reporting to the local police because we'll have a police officer in the building and they receive special training so they know how to interact with kids."

The district is in the process of interviewing for an SRO with the possibility that the district will be able to hire more than one.

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