Lexington undecided about school resource officers

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

LEXINGTON, Va.- - Some city officials in Lexington are undecided about bringing police officers into schools. 

The Lexington Police Department recently applied for two grants to hire school resource officers for two schools. 

But some City Council members, including Leslie Straughan, say they want to explore all the options before putting armed police in hallways.
     
The police chief presented the news to council members in a meeting last week.

"They didn't give us a chance and school board to have time to discuss it. So that's what we would like to do, is put it on hold and give us an opportunity to hold public meetings to get info from all the shareholders, including the teachers, and parents and community in general," said Straughan.

Meridith Benincasa has young children in school and has concerns about resource officers. 

"I think if there is a lot of thought and how they go in and what they wear and how they interact with the students I think is a fine idea. I don't think it's the solution, though," said Benincasa. 

But it's more than just having officers in schools. It could put a burden on the city financially. 

"With a grant we will have two resource officers that will cost $42,000 a year. And after a two-year grant, that becomes a $100,000 cost to the city. And for a small city like Lexington, that equates to 2-cents on the real estate tax," said Straughan. 

There is no timeline for when they will decide how to use the officers in schools. 

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