Tennessee school resource officers up; 450 schools lack them

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s education commissioner says the law enforcement presence in schools is increasing, but 450 schools still lack a school resource officer.

Commissioner Penny Schwinn told lawmakers Monday that grants totaling $7.2 million this year have added 206 new school resource officers statewide, totaling 1,378 officers.

Schwinn said school safety funding includes $20 million recurring and $20 million over two years.

In February 2018, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association said there were 910 school resource officers statewide, representing 40% coverage of schools.

Schwinn told reporters requiring officers at schools would be a big budget request, but added that nothing is more important than children’s safety and health.

Schwinn said more people would need to be recruited and trained as officers, saying there aren’t currently enough ready officers for each school.

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