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Delaware County Sheriff's Office looking to hire additional deputies for SRO program

In a recent community survey conducted by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, 88% say SROs enhance school safety and reduce violent crime.

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio — In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine made a promise to offer funding for school resource officers.

“Oftentimes, there is a trust that gets built between students and the officer that would not otherwise occur, but for that officer being in the school every single day," DeWine said.

In his proposed budget, both public and state schools will be able to afford SROs if the districts request it.

“Having the kids know we are there, in addition to keeping them safe, being a mentor, to be an educator, and someone they can trust and turn to,” said Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Simila.

Simila has spent 17 years in the schools as a school resource officer and loves being able to interact with kids.

The Delaware Area Career Center is just one of nearly a half dozen schools in the county that are asking the sheriff's office for more school resource officers. Delaware County Sheriff Russ Martin said he is looking to hire at least six deputies to fill those positions. 

“That's been a demand from our local school districts. We have a great working relationship with our local school districts. They see the benefit of the school resource officers,” Martin explained.

In a statement, a representative from Olentangy Schools said, "We can confirm that Olentangy Schools plans to add three additional School Resource Officers next school year. This will allow for a dedicated School Resource Officer at each of our middle schools while still providing support at the elementary level."

Parents 10TV spoke with explained why they like having SROs on campus.

“I think it really bridges a communication gap, a comfortability gap, a relationship gap that may exist if you never interact with people, except in maybe difficult circumstances,” said parent Bill Montgomery.

“I believe we need to have them in there,” said parent Corey Johnson.

In a recent community survey conducted by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, 88% say SROs enhance school safety and reduce violent crime, which is why Martin will increase the SRO unit from 11 to 17 by the beginning of the next school year.

“We think our school resource officers have had a very positive impact on reducing crime. Sometimes you don't know what you are preventing,” Martin said.

In contrast, Columbus City Schools ended its contract with the Columbus Division of Police and its SRO program. The district has its own security department.

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