Proposed bills would ensure at least 1 security resource officer at every RI school
A few newly proposed bills would upgrade security and put an officer in every Rhode Island school.
“We've had school shooting, after school shooting, after shooting. And we really haven't seen a difference in our school security situation,” said Rep. Gregg Amore, who represents East Providence.
Amore wants all Rhode Island public schools to have at least one trained security resource officer on campus.
“Parents should be able to drop their children off in school and say, ‘The state, the federal government, the municipalities have done as much as they can to make sure my son or daughter is safe during the day,’” said Amore.
But there's a shortage of police officers in many cities and towns in Rhode Island, as well as in other areas. It also would mean a lot of overtime pay, and it's not clear yet just how much it would cost the taxpayers.
“Sure, the finances are the things that bounce out immediately. How are we going to pay for this? What are the resources? We have been able to find resources all along the way. It's a matter of prioritizing,” said Amore.
The idea would be to make sure there are weapons on campus.
“It's a trained weapon in the school. I also think it's a deterrent,” said Amore. “I think if there is a presence, then the easy target is not so easy.”
The details of how to pay for the security changes still needs to be ironed out, including how to pay for schools to be a part of security upgrades around campus. Lawmakers would also need to get on board with the investment before any changes are made.
“I think we've seen the costs of not having secure buildings and that cost is just unacceptable to me,” said Amore.