Toward the end of the discussion, Wilson said he was satisfied enough to go along with the funding commitment.
The SRO cruisers will be of the Nicholasville Police Department design, but have "School Resource Officer" printed on the front bumper.
Magistrate John Nickell asked about the annual raises for city police officers.
"The officers would be eligible for city raises based on years of experience," Superintendent Lu Young said. "We'd come back to you early next year to talk about that."
The fiscal court, along with the Nicholasville City Commission and Jessamine County Board of Education have all committed to fund an amount not to exceed $86,666 for the SRO program.
What about Wilmore?
The city of Wilmore has invited Young to address its council about the program at its May 7 meeting.
Presently, 21.6 percent of students in the middle and high school reside in Wilmore, Young said. She hopes Wilmore will contribute funds to the program.
Young added that it was a good sign that the city invited her in to discuss the program.
City commission votes
Last Thursday, the Nicholasville City Commission voted 5-1, with Commissioner Chris Moore dissenting, to fund its share of the program.
Moore, who is supportive of the program, is concerned on whether or not the city will have the money in its budget to support it.
Commissioner Johnny Collier asked Finance Officer Laurie Young if the city had the $86,666 to chip in. Young said it depends on the priority level the commission places on it come budget time.
When it came time to vote, Collier briefly hesitated before voting for the program. Later, during the commissioner's business portion of the meeting, he explained his feelings.
"I voted yes on the SRO program for one reason," he said. "Money is in question, but if it can help one child's life, it's worth it."
During the meeting, Young said the recent tragic events at Virginia Tech University showed the need for this kind of program.
"It was an exclamation point for me," she said.
What is the SRO program?
The SRO program will staff Jessamine's high and middle schools with full-time police officers from the Nicholasville Police Department.
One officer will be assigned to each school so he or she can build relationships with the students and faculty.
Nicholasville Police Department Maj. John Branscum said the need is there, adding that during the last school year, the police department responded to 143 calls, which averages to one call every other day.
Those calls reflect West High and East and West Middle. East High hasn't been annexed into the city, but plans are underway to have that accomplished before the new school year begins.
Branscum said though the program hasn't placed officers in the schools, it has already gained statewide recognition.
"It already has been recognized as a model program by the Kentucky Center for School Safety," he told the fiscal court.
The reason for the recognition was the partnership between the governmental bodies to share the cost.
Additionally, Branscum and Young will receive administrative training through a federally funded program in Appleton, Wis. in May.
"As far as we can tell, we're the only recipients of that training in the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Branscum told the fiscal court. "Once again, we are already breaking ground on doing a lot of firsts for this program, and this shows the high-quality program we're wanting to put in."
He added, in light of the Virginia Tech incident, there is a good chance federal funds could come available for SRO programs nationwide.
"It's unfortunate that it might become available because of what's happened in our county, but I think the likelihood for money becoming available for school resource officers is very good," he said. "The Center for School Safety, based on what we've done here, getting the three partners, or four if Wilmore gets involved, it's going to be ranked high in the grant process when we apply."
The next step
Before the 2007-2008 school year begins, four officers will be selected and trained as SROs. Waldrop said those individuals will be selected carefully.
"These will be unique officers," he said. "Not just anybody. It takes a special officer to work with kids."
Jessamine County Sheriff Kevin Corman will be involved in the selection process for SROs.
Once the officers are selected, they will have to become SRO certified through the state police academy in Richmond.