Bay Haven Spends Nearly $50,000 on Two School Resource Officers

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In an effort to beef up security post Sandy Hook, Bay Haven Charter Academy officials have hired two new school resource officers.

"It can happen anywhere anytime, so you've got to be diligent and safe on behalf of the children," said Bay Haven CEO Tim Kitts.

The Bay County School District increased SRO's presence at area schools soon after last month's tragedy in Connecticut, but that was only temporary. District officials said the money just isn't there. Bay Haven, though, managed to find that money, investing $47,000 on the two resource officers for the next five months.

"Our principals were able to make sure that that contingency budget had a little more in the surplus," Kitts said, "It sounds like a lot of money. I'm trying to figure out how can you put an actual cost on the life of a child like that, I can't do that."

They're not stoping there. School officials met Wednesday to discuss another plan of action to better ensure students' and teachers' safety. The idea is to incorporate parents into the equation.

"Parent-trained patrols on the campus. They are communication-based only, and what they would do is they would monitor anybody flowing onto the campus and communicate that with administration and the school resource officers," Kitts told NewsChannel 7.

Kitts admitted school safety is a complex issue and isn't cheap, but in criticizing President Obama's executive orders signed Wednesday, he claimed it's not something that should be up to the federal government to address.

"I think that the state legislature has a responsibility to make sure money is available for a high quality education and the safety of the campuses. I don't see it's the federal government's business whatsoever," Kitts said.

Bay Haven officials said they plan to allocate enough money in next year's budget to keep the SRO's at Bay Haven and North Bay Haven throughout next school year as well.