NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board voted 7 to 1 Monday night to put police officers at 21 elementary schools in North Charleston.
"If having a School Resource Officer is a deterrent that will protect one child, one school or one teacher... We need to do it," said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley after the meeting.
The board is expected to vote on Jan. 28 to extend the idea of adding officers to other municipalities in Charleston County.
Last week, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and the city council voted last week to move forward with plans to place police officers at the schools.
They also voted to provide each officers with a SUV, a Chevrolet Tahoe.
Mayor Keith Summey said, "I think we need to set the example by moving forward we expect the school district to do the same."
Summey estimates the cost of hiring the new officers will be $2 million the first year, with the cost dropping to $1.5 million the following year.
Dr. McGinley said resources will be the next big discussion regarding SRO's in elementary schools. Monday night she said she 'didn't know' how the program would be funded in the future.
"If school districts take the money and put it into security we're taking it away from teaching and learning," said McGinley. "Likewise, police departments take officers and place them in schools and they are using their resources."
Dr. McGinley said the North Charleston police department agreed to fund the 21 officers salaries until June 30. At that date their contracts will expire, along with all other SRO's in Charleston County, and another deal will have to be reached.