The De Baca County Sheriff’s Department will receive $78,543 to put a school resource officer in the Fort Sumner Public Schools, De Baca County Sheriff Gary Graves said Tuesday.
The money comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, Graves said.
He said the person hired for the job will spend 70 percent of his or her time in the schools and 30 percent working as peace officer in the Fort Sumner community. In addition to other duties, the officer will teach classes in the schools on how to avoid drugs and violence, he said.
He or she will be sent to a National School Resource Officer School, in either Arizona, California or Ohio, for training. The $78,543 will cover the cost of the training, as well as salary for three years, Graves said.
Graves said he applied for the grant because he saw a need in the community, although there have been no specific events in the Fort Sumner schools suggesting the need for a police officer in the schools.
“You might call it preventative maintenance. We’re living in a time when even the quietest schools can have incidents,” he said.