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Aggressive school safety plan in the works

Aggressive school safety plan in the works (WPMI)

Baldwin County leaders have an aggressive plan to increase the number of officers by 50 percent from 30 to 45 percent.

It's expected the plan will be front and center before the Baldwin County School Board next week.

The tab? More than a million dollars a year.

The price tag could be staggering. The Sheriff has talked about it before.

"It's about $75,000 per unit, so if you had ten units, you would be talking $750,000," said Sheriff Huey Mack Jr.

NBC 15 News has learned the plan is to add 15 new officers to protect our Baldwin County schools.

Schools that don't have an officer will get one, and each municipality will either get one additional officer or could use the money to pay for an existing officer instead of using City funds.

Parents say "whatever it takes" and give credit to the school resource officers that are already on the job.

"I'm very comfortable with having the resource officers there because I feel like it ensures their safety, and I really need for them to be safe at school because it's hard for me to let anybody else take care of my kids. The resource officer we have at Pine Grove, he's amazing. His name is Deputy Jones. The kids love him. They talk about him all the time. He's great," said Parent Danielle Gonzalez.

If the School Board agrees, we've learned the school system will foot the bill each year by setting up a grant program where each city could either use the money or not.

Some parents we talked to say the plan is better than arming teachers.

"I believe a resource officer is more qualified than a teacher in that aspect, so I go with the resource officer. We need people in place that know how and what to do in crisis," said Parent Manuel Watson.

So where is the money coming from? That's the part that's being worked out right now. NBC 15 News will keep you informed.

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