BRISTOL, Va. - Several local schools will receive grant money to bring in resource officers to their hallways next year.
Governor Bob McDonnell announced Monday that the money is going to schools currently without officers.
In our region, Bristol, Virginia elementary schools, Russell County elementary schools, Smyth County's tech center and middle school and Tazewell middle and high schools will receive a portion of the $1.3 million.
This change is in reaction to the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and state lawmakers say more could come in later years. "I don't know how many we can afford to do. That is the question," says State Senator Bill Carrico. "[We're] looking at localities and how much they can afford. When you start to look at elementary, middle and high schools, that's a lot of money."
State Senator Bill Carrico says he would like to see some changes to the way school resources officers are used in schools. He believes they should be in plain clothes and not uniforms to make them harder to spot inside the school.
He says he also supports allowing properly trained teachers and staff to carry firearms in schools.