Towns nationwide, including Maine district, seek expanded police presence in schools

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In the wake of December’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — in which a lone gunman slaughtered 20 children and six faculty members at a school in Newtown, Conn. — federal officials are expecting a big spike in funding applications for armed, accredited police officers in America’s schools.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS program will hand out between $140 million and $150 million in grants to fund new police officer positions this year. After Sandy Hook, a decision was made to prioritize the funding of positions that increase school safety, including school resource officers, or SROs.

“Definitely, this year, we’ll see a much larger request” for SRO funding, said Corey Ray, a spokesman for the COPS office in Washington, D.C. “Many agencies know the focus of this program will be on school safety, and I think that with the economy, a lot of the positions that have been lost at the local level are SROs.”

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