City May Use School Officers To Fill Police Force Shortage

City May Use School Officers To Fill Police Force Shortage

11:43am Mar 19, 2019
Chief Catrina Thompson. Courtesy City of Winston-Salem

The city of Winston-Salem may shift its school resource officers back to the streets. The idea is to plug gaps in a police force plagued by vacancies.

The Winston-Salem Police Department currently has 28 employees assigned to local schools. Police Chief Catrina Thompson says she’d like to use those officers to fill vacant patrol and investigator positions.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports the shift would end city involvement in providing SROs, a policy that began almost 10 years ago.

Thompson proposed the idea at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The change would cost Winston-Salem about $2.4 million dollars that the schools pay toward the officer’s salaries. But the city would save about a million dollars currently being put toward police overtime costs.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says it has had “preliminary conversations” with the city about providing school resource officers if needed.

Copyright 2019 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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