SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — The Springdale Police Department is adding three new School Resource Officers to its force this year. This is thanks to a grant from the Department of Justice.
“I think it’s perfect,” said Dayna Cook.
She’s a lifelong Springdale resident who spent Tuesday afternoon with her young grandson at Murphy Park feeding the ducks and geese.
“I think have a police influence at school serves as a good role model and it gives the kids and teachers confidence,” she said.
Lt. Jeff Taylor with Springdale Police said this will make the SRO force 21 officers strong.
“In a perfect world, we’d have one officer for every school, that’s what the Governor’s task force recommends,” he said. “Obviously with 31 schools, that’s a huge undertaking.”
Lt. Taylor said there are two SRO’s at each high school, one at each junior high, middle school, the Archer Learning Center and the Don Tyson Innovation Center. The rest of the officers float between the elementary schools.
The grant is taking some funding pressure off the school district.
“The school district pays for the salary and benefits of the other 18 officers 10 months out of the year, so it’s a huge investment from the school district.”
An investment and a partnership the Springdale School District says is well worth it.
“The SRO’s are there to build relationships, help students understand the protocols of safety and the best part is they are building a better community,” said Trent Jones with Springdale Schools.
Cook said police officers are already setting an important example for her grandson.
“We’ve got a really good friend who is a retire police officer and my grandson just love, love, loves him and wants to grow up to be just like him,” she said.
Springdale Schools will be back in session on August 16th.