Montgomery County discussing options for school resource officers

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 4:04 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Montgomery County is discussing how it should proceed regarding school resource officers in Montgomery County Public Schools in Blacksburg and Christiansburg.

“Historically since the 1990s, the school resource officer program in the towns had been covered by the town police within their corporate areas, and that the sheriff’s office did the program outside of the incorporated areas in the county,” Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Sherri Blevins said.

Christiansburg recently voted to pull funding from its school resource officer program, recommending that Montgomery County provide the funding or the manpower.

“It’s about public safety and we’re not going to let our citizens down and we’re going to do everything that we can to keep Montgomery County safe,” Blevins said.

At Monday night’s Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors spoke in favor of expanding the program county-wide.

“I think the consensus would be moving forward on resource officers that it would be deputies, that we would do and not a reimbursement,” Blevins said at the Jan. 23 meeting.

That would mean replacing Blacksburg and Christiansburg police officers with Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies, but the board says nothing will be decided without conversations with the two towns.

“I think it’s critical that there’s connection made with the two towns in the law enforcement in the county school system, because all of us together need to be involved in this,” Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Mary Briggs said during the board of supervisors meeting.

Although only January, Blevins says there’s a sense of urgency to get to a solution in place so it can be budgeted for and there’s time for training and other necessary measures.

“Our board is committed to doing everything that we can to work together in collaboration, to make sure our schools and our citizens are safe,” Blevins said.