The Callaway County Sheriff’s Office will be providing school resource officers to New Bloomfield R-III School District as well as South Callaway R-II

For the first time in the department’s history, the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office will provide resource officers to two schools next school year.

Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism confirmed Monday a school resource officer has been chosen for the South Callaway R-II School District and New Bloomfield R-III will begin the selection process this week.

“We’re always looking to improve our safety,” New Bloomfield R-III Superintendent Sarah Wisdom said.

Wisdom said the SRO program was approved by the district’s board. She said the district will cover 65 percent of the deputy’s salary while the county will take care of the other 35 percent. The idea of having a school resource officer was well regarded by parents after the district distributed a survey on the topic, Wisdom said.

Chism confirmed the county will take care of the training, the vehicle, and other resources each deputy would need. Chism said he plans to put experienced deputies inside of the buildings. He said SRO training lasts a week long and he hopes to have each complete that training so that each officer can be in their respective buildings on the first day of school.

Wisdom said the SRO program is a one-year-contract which would be renewed before the start of each school year.

Both Wisdom and Chism confirmed the idea for New Bloomfield to have a school resource officer came long before the city started to dissolve its police department.

“This wasn’t a knee jerk reaction,” Chism said. “We had been discussing this for quite some time.”

by Ashley Zavala | KRCG 13