Kentucky schools required to have school resource officers by August 1

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Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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Muhlenberg Co., Ky (WFIE) - All Kentucky schools are now required to have school resource officers. School officials have until August to make it happen.

“It is so important,” said Muhlenberg County Schools Assistant Superintendent Matt Perkins.

Muhlenberg County Schools already have five SROs across their buildings, and Perkins has seen a positive impact.

“It’s obviously a deterrent factor. When that law enforcement vehicle everyone knows there’s someone there all of the time,” said Perkins. “Our public likes that. Our parents like that. They need to feel secure, especially as things continue to happen unfortunately in other places.”

School officials like Perkins enjoy having the SROs around, but the obstacle they’ve run into is getting enough officers to meet standard because of insufficient funding.

“We’re used to unfunded mandates and that’s not a political statement, it’s just a fact,” he said. “Sometimes before the money’s there we know the need is there. We get together and say how can we make this happen.”

In Muhlenberg’s case, they’ve outsourced to local law enforcement to get more officers on board, but they still don’t have enough.

Perkins says the difference SROs have made motivates them to find more and fast.

“The relationship piece they have not just with the students but with the adults in the building cannot be overlooked,” Perkins said.

Perkins says it’s more than protection. The officers have been working to get to know the students by name and get involved at their activities so students learn to build trust with them, and talk to them about any problems.

Schools need to find their SROs by August 1.

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