Rising number of school threats increasing demand for school res - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Rising number of school threats increasing demand for school resource officers

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

The rising number of threats taking place at schools around the Midlands is fostering a conversation about the increased need for school resource officers.

However, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department said while people want additional services, community members don’t always want to pay for them.

Kershaw County has 20 public schools and supplies a deputy within each middle and high school. However, three school resource officers oversee the 9 public elementary schools in the county. The sheriff’s department said it would need an additional eight deputies to ensure each public school in the county was equipped with an SRO.

“Of course we’d like to have an SRO in every school, but with that comes an associated cost,” Chief Deputy Jack Rushing of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, said.  “To hire a new deputy would cost around $120,000 initially and then a reoccurring cost of $80,000 a year after that.”

The department estimates hiring and training eight new deputies would cost around $944,000, which it said would result in a $4.5 million tax increase. The county council approves the department’s budget, meaning it would have the final say in whether additional money could be appropriated for new deputies.

Rushing said the influx in school threats is part of the reason many are calling for more security inside schools but warns just because a resource officer is in place does not mean a shooting will not take place.

“It’s not a funny prank to play,” he said. These are people’s lives, these are people’s jobs. This affects school bus routes, this affects parent’s work schedules this affects your future,” Rushing said.

The Richland District 2 School District said a threat found circulating social media on Thursday night threatening violence at Spring Valley High School on Friday was not found credible. However, some parents kept students home from school Friday amidst the threat.

“You don’t do something and then say you didn’t mean it,” Victoria Serrano-Berry, a freshman at Spring Valley High School, said. “You had the option, you had time to stop yourself.”

Serrano-Berry stayed home Friday, afraid to go to school. Her mom said while investigations by law enforcement into these threats is reassuring, it’s what happens after the arrest she feels is vital.

“Getting arrested is one thing, but identifying the problem is crucial,” Evelyn Hinds said. “I believe most of the time it has to do with mental health issues, emotional issues and it could be for attention.”

Punishments for making school threats can vary based on the offender’s age and the severity of the offense, according to law enforcement.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Weinstein faces sex charges in prosecution amid #MeToo

    Weinstein faces sex charges in prosecution amid #MeToo

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:03 AM EDT2018-05-25 15:03:20 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
  • Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

    Alberto forms in the Gulf, flooding rains forecast

    Friday, May 25 2018 10:58 AM EDT2018-05-25 14:58:56 GMT

    The 2018 hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1.

    More >>

    The 2018 hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1.

    More >>
  • Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

    Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:52 PM EDT2018-05-24 21:52:19 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 10:58 AM EDT2018-05-25 14:58:16 GMT
    A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

    Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.

    More >>

    Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly