Upshur County Schools awarded grant to fund prevention resource officers

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:50 PM EST
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BUCKHANNON, W.Va (WDTV) - In the wake of the Oxford Michigan shooting, schools across the country have been dealing with copy-cat threats, including in north central West Virginia.

West Virginia is dishing out more than a million dollars for schools to hire prevention resource officers.

As students return to the classroom after remote learning and other pandemic precautions...the threat of dangerous situations like an active shooter is also returning.

“A prevention resource officer cannot be understated in our schools,” said Sisk.

Upshur county schools received $15,000 to help hire prevention resource officers.

It’s one of many districts across West Virginia that got additional funding as part of a $1.1 million grant through the state.

The districts director of safety Matthew Sisk says the idea of PROs is new in the area.

“It’s fairly unique to West Virginia a lot of other places refer to them as school resource officers but they’re almost entirely the same thing,” said Sisk.

And while they may play a role in student safety, it’s not their only responsibility.

“they play a key role in the prevention and education of crime and life skills within the schools,” said Sisk.

While Sisk says studies have shown that PROs reduce violent crime, they work with the administration of schools too.

“They help participate in our drills, help lead those drills,” said Sisk.

Sisk says there is a PRO in Buckhannon Upshur middle and high school.

He says they’re a major resource for students and families.

“They play a key role in communication between the school system and our law enforcement they’re always talking with us I’ve had many opportunities to meet with both our pros already, I enjoy working with them,” said Sisk.

Below is a list of other schools receiving funding for a prevention resource officer:

HARRISON COUNTY

City of Bridgeport $15,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support the position of a Prevention Resource Officer assigned to Bridgeport High School.

Harrison County Commission $30,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support Prevention Resource Officers assigned to South Harrison High, Liberty High, and Robert C. Byrd High Schools.

TAYLOR COUNTY

City of Grafton $15,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support the position of a Prevention Resource Officer assigned to Grafton High School.

BARBOUR COUNTY

Barbour County Commission $15,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support the position of a Prevention Resource Officer assigned to Philip Barbour High School.

DODDRIDGE COUNTY

Doddridge County Commission $30,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support Prevention Resource Officers assigned to Doddridge County Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

MONONGALIA COUNTY

City of Morgantown $25,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support Prevention Resource Officers assigned to Mountaineer Middle and Suncrest Middle Schools.

RANDOLPH COUNTY

Randolph County Commission $30,000.00

These funds will be utilized to support Prevention Resource Officers assigned to Tygart Valley High/Middle and Elkins Middle Schools.

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