Schools in Lee County are getting a little safer just in time for the next school year.
The City of Fort Myers and the Lee County School District are partnering to fund School Resource Officers (SRO) in all public schools.
On Monday night, the city council approved a $500,700 budget with a 6-1 vote to help fund 17 SROs in Fort Myers. This includes 15 police officer positions and 2 sergeant positions.
In a statement, the City of Fort Mers said: ”Working together with the Lee County School District Superintendent, the City of Fort Myers supports having school resource officers in our public schools. The city is examining funding mechanisms within the annual budget process and will implement the recommendations of City Council.”
The Lee County School District said the SRO program will cost around $8-9 million. The school district is committed to paying for half of that.
Lee County School District Communications Director Lauren Stillwell wrote in an e-mail to us:
“The safety and security of our students is of highest priority. While the funding in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act is not enough, we will do what we need to in order to make sure our student are protected by a certified law enforcement officer in our schools.”
The City of Cape Coral has also agreed to cover schools in its city and the county has agreed to fund SROs in unincorporated Lee County.
The District is still working with the Village of Estero, BOCC, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers Beach for their SROs.
Additional reporting by Tianna Jenkins