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.
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.