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New state grants put four more SRO’s in Colleton schools

A new state-issued grant will permanently put one School Resource Officer (SRO) in each of Colleton County’s public schools, funding the four new officers indefinitely.
The four new SRO’s are being fully funded by the state, under a new grant program furnished to Colleton County’s School District through S.C. General Assembly and S.C. Department of Education. The funding includes money for their salaries and their benefits.
Four SRO’s were chosen to supplement Colleton County’s current SRO program because four is the maximum number of SRO’s sent to any school district in the Palmetto State, under the new grant-funded program: Colleton was chosen to receive the maximum number allotted, based on the district’s demographics, tax base, and poverty ranking, according to Colleton County School District Spokesman Sean Gruber.
Gruber says the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is still responsible for the hiring, training, and oversight of the new SROs.
Even though two schools are located in other local law enforcement divisions all SROs are under the direction of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office to ensure uniformity.
With the new four state-funded positions, Colleton County now has 10 total SROs.
There is one at each school in the district, and the district’s adult education campus, TCTC, and alternative school will receive their SRO support from those School Resource Officers who are stationed at Colleton County High School due to close proximity, said Gruber.
“There were two SRO’s who previously rotated through all of the elementary schools. And there were only full-time officers at the high school and at the middle school. Now, we have one posted full time at each school,” said Gruber.
Funding from the state grant was handed down to each county in South Carolina about two weeks ago. In preparation for the incoming funds, Colleton’s four new School Resource Officers in Colleton County have already been hired and trained by the sheriff’s office. These four new SRO’s began at their new school posts last week, said Gruber.
Going forward, the state-funding for School Resource Officers will be included in the county’s annual fiscal year budget. The money will go to the sheriff’s office for the salaries and benefits of each officer, said Gruber.
The funds and benefits of the other and already-existing six SRO’s in the district will continue to be paid for with a combination of school district and county funds.
This newspaper will bring information on each new SRO to our readers and parents in future issues.

Heather Walters (1593 Posts)