The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night to approve the County’s participation in a grant through the Department of Criminal Justice Services that will allow the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office to add 10 additional School Resource Officers (SROs). The Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office currently has eight SROs that work across 21 Pittsylvania County Schools, which have over 10,700 students and staff in attendance on any given day.
“Increasing the number of SROs that serve our schools is extremely important for our students and staff,” said Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor. “I am thankful to the Department of Criminal Justice Services for awarding us this grant and to the Board of Supervisors for allocating the remaining funds that will allow us to equip and maintain one SRO for every school.”
The grant, which was awarded in October, fully covers the salaries and fringe benefits of 10 positions through the end of June 2023, but the County plans to use these funds to pay for our existing positions while the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office works to hire and train additional officers.
Starting in July 2023 and for the following three years, the County will be responsible for 25% of the salaries and fringe benefits of the 10 new positions, which equates to approximately $158,390 annually. The Department of Criminal Justice Services will provide $475,170 annually through this grant in years 2-4. Pittsylvania County will need to provide an upfront cost of approximately $50,596 per new deputy, which includes the cost of outfitted Dodge Chargers and other equipment and gear for each of the 10 new officers as they are hired.
“The Board of Supervisors is thrilled to make this investment that will help provide safer, more secure learning environments for the thousands of students and staff that spend time at our elementary schools every day,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Vic Ingram. “Having additional SROs in our schools will bolster our education and public safety, two of the most important services that government provides.”
As defined Virginia Code § 9.1-101, a school resource officer (SRO) is a certified law enforcement officer hired by local law enforcement agencies to provide law enforcement and security services to public schools. To serve as an SRO, a deputy must be certified as a law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under the administrative control of the Sheriff’s Office, these SROs will provide critical law enforcement and security services to Pittsylvania County Public Schools.
You can learn more about working with the Sheriff’s Office on the Sheriff Employment page. The starting salary is $43,935 and new hires are eligible for a $4,500 sign-on bonus.