The Fayetteville School District will soon add three more armed resource officers to assist in school safety.
The Fayetteville City Council approved adding the new officers, which is set to cost $723,494. A grant will cover $375,000, while the school district and city will split the rest of the cost, according to city documents supplied at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Two full-time armed police officers patrol Fayetteville High School, with off-duty officers rotating between the junior high schools. The new officers are expected to work at the middle schools and the district’s alternative school.
The addition will bring the number of resource officers at Fayetteville schools toward the number of resource officers who used to work at the local schools, said Sgt. Craig Stout with the Fayetteville Police Department.
“We got hit through a hard recession. Some of the grant money dried up, so we went from eight down to two,” he said. “So we just weren’t able to provide the coverage we should.”
An added benefit is the exposure young students will have to law enforcement, said Alan Wilbourn, spokesman for Fayetteville Public Schools.
“Before we had them as young as the middle schools, so you could get that interaction with officers at a much younger age,” he said.