KINGSTON – The hiring of four school resource officers for three Ulster County districts resulted in lengthy debate before being approved Tuesday night.
The districts would fund the cost of the assigned deputy sheriffs.
Those opposed expressed concern about how children would react to seeing uniformed police officers in school.
But supporters like Legislator Herb Litts said SROs are more than officers, but often establish a trust and improve the comfort level of kids to police.
“Maybe we would have less issues than we have in our country today if the children felt comfortable with the police and they did not see the police as the enemy and I think if they have the SRO in the school system, it is a safety We don’t want any Columbines here in Ulster County,” he said.
In the end, by votes of 19 to four, legislators approved two deputy sheriffs for the Rondout Valley Central School District and one each for the Onteora Central School District and Ulster County BOCES.