Roanoke County law enforcement agencies look forward to addition of six new school resource officers

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Roanoke County School Board paved the way for six new school resource officers to be in Roanoke County Elementary School’s starting this fall.

“There’s nothing more important to me than the safety of our children in the schools,” said Capt. Chad Beheler with the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office.

The Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office currently has two SRO’s in the 16 elementary schools.

“We’re going to have eight school resource officer deputies, so they’ll spend half a day at one school and half a day at another,” said Beheler.

The history of SRO’s in Roanoke County Public Schools goes back more than two decades and is led by the Roanoke County Police Department.

“They’ve been in place for about 25-years,” said Sgt. Dan Walters with RCPD.

At full force, RCPD has an SRO in all the high school and middle schools in Roanoke County.

“Number one goal is to make sure my officers come to work safe, that the students and the teachers arrive at the school safe and have a fun day and that they all go home safely,” said Walters.

RCSO has been working on securing the funding for these SRO’s for years. But in light of recent school shootings, they feel both the funding and school safety overall played a role in the approval.

“I would say it’s a combination of both,” said Beheler.

Law enforcement and SRO’s in Roanoke County are constantly training and preparing in-case of an emergency.

“We’re doing everything we can to be prepared and plan everything as far as what our response is going to be,” said Walters.

RCSO is already in the process of finding their six new SRO’s and looks forward to continuing their mission of keeping each person at RCPS safe.

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