School board votes to support SRO program with $150,000

Police Chief Keith Mello is half way toward getting the school resource officers he wants to hire to work in the school system next school year.

The Board of Education voted 7-3 Tuesday night to support the school resource, or SRO, program. The board then voted 8-2 in favor of transferring $150,000 from this year's energy account to pay for the SROs next year. School administrators expect to have a $200,000 to $250,000 surplus in the energy account by the end of the year due to an energy saving program.

The $150,000 represents half the expected cost of four school resource officers. Mello believes the aldermen will hold a special meeting to determine if they will fund the other half.

During a four hour meeting Tuesday night, Mello presented a wealth of information about SROs to the Board of Education, city aldermen and residents. He was assisted by several experts in the field, including Dr. David Bernstein, an expert in risk and threat assessments.

(Check back for more details about Tuesday night’s presentation and vote.)