Rep. O’Brien introduces bill that extends SRO reimbursement program
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has introduced a bill (2020-H 7437) that would extend the reimbursement to school districts or municipalities for newly hired school resource officers.
The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.
“As an educator, I have witnessed first-hand the immediate and beneficial effects that school resource officers have on our schools and students. In the wake of school shooting after school shooting, it is imperative that we protect our students and staff and having SRO’s in our schools is necessary part of ensuring safety. I applaud the Town of North Providence for taking advantage of this important cost-sharing program that will protect our community’s most-vital asset – our children,” said Representative O’Brien.
The FY 2019 budget item in Article 9 established a voluntary three-year pilot program to fund school resource officers at half the costs associated with employing new officers at public middle and high schools. The state reimburses 50 percent of the cost, while municipalities share the rest of the cost.
In order to qualify for reimbursement, the new school resource officer must have been hired after June 30, 2019 and the officer must not be replacing a school resource officer who has since retired.
North Providence has hired several new school resource officers due to the program.
“The safety and security of our students, staff, and visitors in our schools is paramount and school resource officers are the best equipped and trained to deal with security situations. This is an important program that will keep our schools safer, it’s as simple as that,” concluded Representative O’Brien.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903