GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state is awarding schools across Michigan funding to hire resource officers to improve security.

Twenty-five million dollars in funding would go toward hiring 195 school resource officers over the next three years.

A panel of educators and police workers decided which schools would receive the funding. Priority was given to schools and districts that don’t already have a resource officer or ones that have lower enrollment and less funding per student, a release from the governor’s office said.

Gobles Public Schools, one of six districts in Van Buren County on the list, falls into the earlier of the two camps with their $100,000 portion. Superintendent Jim Wiseley said the news from Lansing comes as a relief.

“It provides that feeling of safety as an SRO builds relationships with our students and staff. We just build a better, safer product for our stakeholders,” Wiseley said. “This will allow us the initial steps.”

The announcement from the governor’s office was also welcomed news to Superintendent Jeff Thoenes at Comstock Public Schools. He said the $200,000 over three years will provide some much-needed staffing flexibility.

“We’re looking at a split … position. One officer, most likely serving in the morning at Comstock Middle School, then just down the road … is our Comstock High School. … He or she would spend the afternoon there. So we already have kind of a vision for it,” Thoenes explained. “We were absolutely thrilled. We’re looking forward to the opportunity for this officer to serve in our community.”

The money may be used for school resource officer salaries, benefits and training.

“These grant awards will not only help to provide better safety in our school buildings by increasing the number of schools throughout the state with at least one SRO, but very importantly, by prioritizing smaller schools in more remote areas, we will reduce the time it takes for a police response in the event of an emergency,” said Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper. 

The following West Michigan schools received funding from the state:

Allegan:

  • Allegan Public Schools
  • Fennville Public Schools
  • Hamilton Community Schools
  • Hopkins Public Schools

Barry:

  • Hastings Area School System

Berrien:

  • Berrien Springs Public Schools
  • Brandywine Community Schools
  • Buchanan Community Schools
  • Coloma Community Schools
  • Countryside Academy
  • Eau Claire Public Schools
  • Lakeshore Public Schools
  • River Valley School District
  • St. Joseph Public Schools
  • Watervliet Public Schools

Branch:

  • Legg Middle School

Calhoun:

  • Lakeview School District
  • Marshall Public Schools
  • Harper Creek Community Schools

Cass:

  • Edwardsburg Public Schools
  • Marcellus Community Schools

Kalamazoo:

  • Comstock Public Schools
  • Parchment School District

Kent:

  • Cedar Springs Public Schools
  • Godfrey-Lee Public Schools
  • Kent City Community Schools
  • Lowell Area Schools

Montcalm:

  • Central Montcalm Public Schools
  • Greenville Public Schools
  • Montabella Community Schools
  • Seiter Education Center

Muskegon:

  • Holton Public Schools
  • Montague Area Public Schools
  • Muskegon Middle School
  • North Muskegon Public Schools

Newaygo:

  • Fremont Public Schools
  • Grant Public Schools
  • Hesperia Community Schools
  • Newaygo County RESA
  • Newaygo Public Schools

Oceana:

  • Hart Public Schools
  • Pentwater Public Schools
  • Shelby Public Schools

St. Joseph:

  • Colon Community Schools
  • Pathfinder Educational Center
  • St. Joseph Public Schools
  • White Pigeon Community Schools

Van Buren:

  • Bloomingdale Public Schools
  • Decatur Public Schools
  • Gobles Public Schools
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • Van Buren Public Schools

For the full list of schools and districts that received funding, visit Michigan.gov.