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SRO grant

Polk receives funding for additional school resource officer

COLUMBUS—Polk County recently received a grant for school resource officers, which will allow the county to employ 5 officers and a vehicle. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday night and heard from county manager Marche Pittman and Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene about the additional grant funding. 

The funding is coming from the general assembly and will be used for a 5th officer in the school system. The school system currently has full-time officers at the middle and high schools and floating officers for the 4 elementary schools. 

Leftover funding from the grant will be used to purchase a vehicle for the officers. 

Greene said later this week the grant is fro SAFE Schools, which is specifically for school resource officers and is a 2-year grant. The grant is a renewal of a previous grant Polk County had for the officers, where the county previously had 4. The additional money will provide approximately $33,000 per officer. 

Greene said the additional officer will help the county be able to spread the officers out more amongst the 4 elementary schools. Every school will have some presence every day, he said. 

The additional grant funding was also enough for the county to purchase a vehicle for the SROs. 

The new SRO will begin Jan. 1, according to a budget amendment commissioners approved Monday night. 

“Manager Pittman and Sheriff (Tim) Wright and commissioners have always been supportive of the safety of our students and we appreciate that,” Greene said Monday.