School resource officers a good idea

Published 9:31 pm Monday, July 28, 2008

For years, we have watched as police departments stationed school resource officers in various public school districts across the country.

This became the rule rather than the exception after two teenagers dressed in long coats and armed with weapons strode through the halls and classrooms of Columbine High School, killing students and teachers before turning the weapons on themselves.

Facts are an officer who walks the halls of a school is a deterrent to many things: gang activity, fights, drugs and other inappropriate behavior.

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An officer in the school does not necessarily mean that school is dangerous. In fact, many school districts in upscale areas of cities have resource officers present in their halls, offices and even the classroom.

It is, as Selma Police Chief William Riley III said, a part of community policing, making that link between people in the community and those who serve and protect.

We hope the Selma City School Board and the incoming superintendent will view the necessity of school resource officers, who will assist in maintaining order.

Half of salary and equipment isn’t too much to pay to ensure safety of children in schools and forming a bond with the youth of the community.

Riley deserves kudos for bringing this to the attention of the Selma City Council after a meeting with interim schools Superintendent Verdell Lett Dawson.

We need them in the schools this semester. It’s time to act.