Nevada School District to Cut SRO Program

The cuts to the SRO program will help the district recoup some of the financial losses it has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevada School District to Cut SRO Program

Reno, Nevada – The Lyon County School District (LCSD) will most likely cut its school resource officer (SRO) program for the 2020-2021 academic year due to financial losses it has experienced as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The district plans on making 5% spending cuts so it can balance its budget but will still give its employees raises, reports the Reno Gazette Journal. The size of those raises was not disclosed by the district.

Last month, Nevada’s department of education said that state grants that hadn’t been used must be returned to offset financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds LCSD will be returning would have paid for the SROs, as well as campus safety equipment upgrades. The cut of the SRO program will save the district about $100,000.

The district’s three SROs currently investigate incidents and conduct home visits, as well as do traffic control, security checks and teach classes. LCSD’s SRO program has been in existence since 2017.

According to the 2018 Campus Safety Salary and Benefits Survey, understaffing of campus public safety departments is a significant issue. More than three in four (77%) survey participants said their departments don’t have enough sworn police/public safety officers. Nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) said they don’t have enough nonsworn security/public safety officers, and 69% said they don’t have enough other department staff.

Most respondents who said their school, university or hospital public safety department were understaffed believed they needed a 1%-30% increase in personnel.

In LCSD’s case, the SRO program isn’t the only safety program getting the ax. Planned upgrades of technologies that can bolster security are also being put on hold. Until now, LCSD had been gradually improving security at all of its campuses. Those improvements included access control upgrades, such as perimeter fences and single points of entry.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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