CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral leaders decided to spend money on school resource officers after a meeting Monday night. The city will spend nearly 500,000 dollars on the program.
School resource officers are employed by Cape Coral PD and supporters say they provide safety for students - and you can't put a price on that.
At a price tag of almost a million dollars, are Cape Coral school resource officers worth it? Educators say yes!
"Cape Coral is one of the safest communities in the state of Florida. I think resource officers are an integral part of that."
In Cape Coral, there are 11 officers and one supervisor spread out in the city's middle and high schools. The city and the school district both put in money for the program. Cape Coral pays almost 500,000 thousand dollars. The school district pays a little more than 400,000 thousand. It's pricey in these economic times, but principal Cannady said these officers do more than just patrol the halls.
"School resources have a lot of jobs in the school, but the most important one is to be build relationship with students... mentor students."
She said students trust these officers and when crime happens they often tell the SRO.
"Students come in and they run right to the resource officer because they trust them and it helps to keep our community safe."
Last school year alone, Cape Coral SRO investigated nearly 5,000 incidents in city schools and made almost 100 arrests. If city council ends the program, the officers would then be put on regular police duty. The city might then have to look to the sheriff's office for help, but principal Cannady said the program makes the grade the way it is and shouldn't be cut.
"You can't put a price on relationships that are built."
This very same issue came up on city council's agenda last year. They voted unanimously to keep the program.