DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - There could be big changes to who keeps your children safe while their at school.
Monday night, Dorchester District Two leaders talked about changing how they provide security. Currently, local law enforcement provides security for the district with 18 school resource officers, but district officials say hiring their own private security could cut costs.
A spokesperson with the district says if they continue to pay the current school resource officers, the cost could almost triple. The current price tag is $260,000 per year for the officers, but next year, it could cost them almost $650,000. That's why they are looking to make some changes.
"Making sure that we provide a safe, and secure environment for learning to occur," said Mike Turner, Security Coordinator with Dorchester District Two.
The Security Coordinator with the district says no matter who is protecting the students, safety will not be an issue. At Monday night's School Board meeting, behind closed doors, the board discussed specific costs with hiring a private agency for security.
"That they are trained. That we have people able and trained to respond to any kind of emergency on those campuses," said Turner.
A district spokesperson says the new security officers would be full-time district employees.
That way, not only would they be in charge of security, they could focus on directing traffic and other school related activities. Many parents say they believe the district will make the right decision.
"I believe in Dorchester District Two. It's the reason why I'm a citizen of Dorchester District Two," said Jonathon Campbell, a parent in DD2.
"I feel that my child is very safe here in Dorchester District Two," said Tammie Golden, a parent in DD2.
The new security officers would have to have a law enforcement back ground. They would be able to detain people who break the law, and hold them until police arrive. The security coordinator says the School Board would have to decide whether or not they would carry a weapon while on duty.
"I want my kids to feel safe. I want them to feel like there's nothing that's going to interfere with their ability to learn," said Campbell.
Sheriff Luther Carl Knight with the Dorchester County Sheriff's office couldn't comment on the cost increase, but says until something changes, they assume they will continue to provide security for the district.
There is no word yet on when a decision will be made. The School Board will go to County Council with a proposed budget plan on May 18.