Bill could help agencies pay for school resource officers - | WBTV Charlotte

Bill could help agencies pay for school resource officers


11th District Congressman Mark Meadows has introduced a bill in Washington that could help local law enforcement agencies put an officer in every school.

Meadows says the  Protect America's Schools Act would open up grant money that local agencies could use to hire, train and pay for an officer to be in every school.

Right now, most agencies say there is not enough money in their budgets to do that.

"We just can't afford it right now," said Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones.

Caldwell County does have an officer in the high schools and middle schools but not in the elementary schools.

"It is something we would like to do," said Jones.

Jones and more than a dozen other law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs stood behind Meadows as he outlined the proposal at a news conference Wednesday at Hendersonville Elementary School.

Meadows says his proposal does not mean adding to the deficit. The money would come from unused funds in the NOAA budget, he said.

Meadows also believes there will be bipartisan support for the proposal. "It's not a new idea," he said. "It was a program under the Clinton Administration and funding ran out in 2005."  

The program then was called "Cops in Schools."

The freshman congressman said he thinks democrats would be hard pressed to oppose it. "It was a Clinton plan and Nancy Pelosi was the first to get money under the program for her district."

Meadows hopes the bill will come to a vote this Spring. " It's a practical, common sense approach," he said.

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