Auditor pushes for armed school resource officer in every Missouri school

Updated: Aug. 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Should every school in Missouri have its own armed resource officer?

That's a change Missouri State Auditor and Gubernatorial Candidate Nicole Galloway is pushing Govenor Mike Parson to make.

The push is in response to the recommendations made by the Governor's School Safety Task Force.

The commission recommends every school have an armed and trained professional officer.

"We would love to be able to provide an SRO in every building that we have unfortunately we just aren't able to do that right now," said Josh Crowell, the Assistant Superintendent of Support Services at Cape Girardeau Schools.

He said right now the district has five school resource officer for 11 buildings.

“If we can get an SRO into every single building to where it’s not a burden on our district to do so we would welcome that with open arms. The more the better is our outtake on that,” said Crowell.

Right now, four of Cape Girardeau’s SROs are paid for by the school, and one is employed by the police department.

A spokeswoman for Auditor Galloway’s office said other news outlets estimate having a resource officer in every Missouri school would cost about $30-$50 million.

I crunched the numbers and according to Zip Recruiter, the average salary for a full-time resource officer in Missouri is $39,166; and Missouri has more than 2,000 schools and that adds up to more than $78 million per year.

“We are there for safety but the biggest part of our job is to develop relationships with students and to build bridges and break barriers because a lot of kids in today’s society are afraid to talk to law enforcement,” said Tora Angle, an SRO at the junior high.

She said she welcomes the idea of more SROs.

"As a parent myself and for any parents out there, you would want to utilize any resource available to ensure the safety of your child and children,’ said Angle.

Galloway said she wants to work with Governor Parson to come up with a way for the state to pay for this, without raising taxes.

We reached out to Governor Parson’s office and right now they have no comment on the auditor’s request.

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