In light of last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. members of the House of Delegates Republican Caucus said Thursday it would seek to add more money to the state budget during the upcoming General Assembly session to add police officers to elementary school in the commonwealth through the school resource officer grant program.
"Today, we are announcing our intent to expand funding for a school resource officer grant program to encourage the creation of school resource officer positions in Virginia elementary schools," said House Speaker William J. Howell of Stafford in a press release. "This is a critical step toward making sure all of our schools are as safe as possible."
The GOP caucus has not yet proposed a specific amount to add to the budget to expand the program into elementary schools, but hopes to do so by the time General Assembly session starts Jan 9.
Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Public Safety Subcommittee Beverly Sherwood of WInchester said the expansion of the grant program should build on the success of school resource officers already in roughly 80 percent of the state's public middle and high schools.
"Unfortunately, only about 25 percent of elementary schools have assigned school resource officers, many of which serve multiple schools," she said. "The expansion of this program will encourage the hiring of full-time school resource officers in Virginia elementary schools."