CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – Following the deadly STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch earlier this month, Douglas County commissioners are considering a plan that would double the number of school resource officers in the county.
The county board on Tuesday will discuss a proposal to appropriate $3 million annually for 16 extra officers at county schools, according to a memo from the commissioners' meeting with the Douglas County School District board on Thursday night. The plan would be contingent on the Douglas County School District agreeing to split the total costs for the officers, as the district does each year, the commissioners said.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office currently provides school resource officers to nine high schools, five middle schools and Valor Christian. The STEM School Highlands Ranch has a private security guard, not a school resource officer.
Douglas County board president David Ray said in a statement Friday that the board is "incredible appreciative of the [commissioners'] desire to partner with us on the critical issue of school safety."
"I believe our community is comforted by the fact that we are having these important conversations with our community partners on how we can work together towards a shared goal of keeping all of our students safe," Ray said.
Last week, county commissioners voted to redirect $10 million toward public school safety and possible additional mental health services in response to the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting on May 7. The commissioners announced this week that they'll form two committees – one focused on school safety and security and the other focused on mental health.
Kendrick Castillo, a senior at the school, died in the shooting and eight other students were injured.