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Many Kentucky school districts coming up short on state mandated S.R.O.'s

State lawmakers sound off on JCPS’ alternative safety plan, which lacks on-site school resource officers.

John Charlton

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Published: 9:04 PM EDT August 9, 2022
Updated: 7:07 PM EDT September 1, 2022

With the Board of Education’s blessing on January 27, JCPS had a plan.

If the district couldn’t have a dedicated and armed School Resource Officer on-site, throughout the day, at each of its 165 schools, then the district would assign an armed School Safety Officer (S.S.O.) to patrol three to seven schools.

The goal is to have 30 S.S.O.’s, but ahead of Wednesday’s first day of school, the district is well short.

“We’re short 13,” Chris Perkins, Chief Operations Officer at JCPS, said. “So we won’t get to 30 armed police officers before the first day of school.”

The district says it currently has 12 S.S.O.’s on staff and have five new hires with law enforcement experience.

However, those five must put in 120 hours of training for state required S.R.O. certification.

In the meantime, every JCPS middle school and high school are supposed to have at least one safety administrator, but that person is unarmed.

“I think that’s basically like saying let’s get a slingshot and a rock,” Sen. Max Wise, R-District 16, said.

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