Metro Nashville PD 'not staffed to provide full-time SROs at elementary schools'

A recent allocation of $5.25 million in state funding became accessible in response to The Covenant School shooting, but MNPD officials say they don't have the capacity to staff its 70 public schools

By Sarah Roebuck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is not planning to apply for $5.25 million in new funding from the state to place school resource officers in every Nashville elementary school, The Tennessean reports.

The reason is due to the agency not having the capacity to staff the area's 70 public schools with full-time SROs, according to the department. SRO positions have never been established for elementary campuses in Metro Nashville Public Schools and there are no intentions to introduce them for the upcoming school year of 2023-24.

The MNPD said it will continue its School Safety Initiative, originally launched in the 2022-23 academic year, which focuses on elementary schools. A team of volunteer officers, who are currently not eligible for grant funding, will collaborate with precinct-based officers and personnel from the Investigative Services Bureau to monitor various elementary school campuses.

The recent allocation of millions of dollars in state funding became accessible in response to the shooting at The Covenant School, a private K-5 institution.

“The police department presently is not staffed to provide full-time SROs at elementary schools (more than 70 personnel),” MNPD spokesman Don Aaron said in a statement to The Tennessean. 

The ultimate objective of the MNPD is to have full-time SROs stationed in elementary schools. This will be achieved by gradually increasing the number of officer positions and hiring and training more than 70 personnel for this role.

MNPD intends to seek a state grant of $3.375 million in funding to bolster its current positions at middle and high schools. The goal is to have a total of 60 fully staffed SRO positions by September at the 45 public middle and high schools in Nashville. 

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