Columbia leaders concerned about the lack of school resource officers

POSTED: 07:26 PM CDT Jul 11, 2013 
Columbia Public Schools distict office sign
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

City and Boone County officials met with Columbia Public Schools leaders Thursday to discuss several issues, including the lack of school resource officers.

The decreasing number of school resource officers is due to budget cuts and has been an ongoing problem for several years, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Belcher.

"When I first came here in 2009, one of the first things we had to do was reduce six SROs," Belcher said.

This could be the first year that an SRO may be completely absent from the district's middle schools. However, each high school will have its own officer.

Even though the school district is facing the challenge of an increase in students and a decrease in officers, they are using what resources they have to keep school safety at an all-time high.

"We are fortunate that Carl Edwards is working with us to provide an in-service for all of our staff with the internationally-known expert in controlling and managing anger and aggression," said Belcher.

This is just one of the many things school officials are doing to be proactive about safety.

"We are doing these things at a really high level because we know one thing we are in control of is the training and prevention aspect of school safety,"said Belcher.