Districts Add More Resource Officers to Make Schools Safer

FREMONT — Schools in the City of Fremont will be provided with an additional School Resource Officer for the 2022-2023 school year, as the district seeks to bolster security with an increased police presence in its buildings.

Superintendent Jon Detwiler said Tuesday the school district is interviewing candidates for the new position, with the goal of having a new officer in place for the start of the school year later this month.

The new recruit will give the district three resource officers.

Detwiler said the primary responsibility for the new officer will be Fremont Ross High School and Fremont Middle School,

“But we ask them to be present in all schools,” Detwiler said of the district resource officers.

Fremont and several school districts in Sandusky and Ottawa County have received funding through Ohio’s K-12 School Safety Grant Program.

Fremont schools receive $168,903 grant

The state announced in June that it was making $100 million available to Ohio schools through the K-12 School Safety Grant Program.

Gov. Mike DeWine sent a letter to all K-12 superintendents in the state about the grant program, House Bill 99, and available school safety resources.

Detwiler said the district received $168,903 through the program.

Atkinson Elementary, Otis Elementary and Fremont Ross High School each received $50,000 for school safety improvements.

Fremont Middle School received $18,900.

Detwiler said the school district plans to reapply for Otis Elementary and Lutz Elementary under the safety program.

Other local school districts in Sandusky and Ottawa counties have received funding from the program:

Benton-Carroll-Salem, $150,000.

Clyde-Green Springs, $183,831.

Danbury Schools, $45,467.

Local Lakota Schools, $50,000.

Port Clinton City Schools, $197,349.

Some districts in both counties had discussed House Bill 99, which would give Ohio districts the option of arming school personnel as an added safety measure, but most are not considering arming teachers or other Staff.

Under House Bill 99, local school boards will not be required to arm staff, but they will have to notify parents if they choose to do so, according to reports from the Columbus Dispatch.

Port Clinton Schools Superintendent Pat Adkins said the district has hired a third resource officer to promote school safety.

Port Clinton teachers will not be armed

There had been discussions on the subject in schools in the city of Port Clinton in 2020.

Superintendent Pat Adkins said the district board made it clear at the time that arming teachers would not be an option in the Port Clinton School District.

Like Fremont, Port Clinton City Schools is also adding a third School Resource Officer.

“We think it’s important to do that,” Adkins said.

Adkins said Friday the district hired Curt Cochran, a Port Clinton police officer, for the job.

He said the three school district resource officers were from the Port Clinton Police Department.

The school district pays 75% of officers’ salaries under an agreement with the Port Clinton Police Department.

District School Resource Officers also serve as truancy officers and are not just there to patrol buildings.

Port Clinton used previous government funding to purchase more security cameras and upgrade its electronic gate access.

The district has also invested more money in its mental health resources, so it can identify and help students in crisis.

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