New Martinsville City Council voted a 5-1 decision Monday night, which approved the funding for two school resource officers for the 2015-2016 academic year.
One resource officer will be placed at New Martinsville Elementary School, while the other will be placed at Magnolia High School.
Money seemed to be the concerning issue for residents and the council, but Councilman Jeff Wright said the utmost security must always be approved no matter the costs.
“I guess the issue was money. Some people didn’t think we had the money to do it, but I know me and a couple of the other councilman thought that you can’t put a price on the safety of our children,” Wright said.
It’s something that parents, teachers and law enforcement officials said is essential in protecting students.
With a growing number of violent incidents occurring in and around schools throughout the country, many have turned to resource officers to protect children.
New Martinsville Elementary and Magnolia High School have been without the services of an officer for the past two years, but New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil is happy that will now be changing.
“Not only will they be there for the safety of the children, but they’ll be building relationships with these children,” Cecil said. “These children will get to know us and get to know our officers now, they’ll get to see us in there own neighborhoods. Its just a great opportunity for these kids to see we’re not the bad guys.”
Most students said they feel safe with an officer on school grounds.
“We had a resource officer my freshman year and it’s a much safer atmosphere for us with all the issues going on,” Magnolia High School student Chase Miller said.
The only person that voted against funding the resource officers was Councilwoman Doris Fannin. She cited financial concerns as the main reason.
However, the five other council members voted to approved the measure, which means next year those resource officers will be patrolling the hallways.