Taylor: Pittsylvania County School Safety Initiative Will Happen

Pittsylvania Co., VA -- Pittsylvania County Supervisors decided Tuesday night not to increase taxes in the 2013-2014 budget for now. But that does not mean Sheriff Mike Taylor's proposed school safety initiative is off the table.

Sheriff Mike Taylor says he is doing what he can to maintain safety in schools. He has more officers at the campus whenever possible. He just hopes his plan can be funded.

Taylor makes a promise to all Pittsylvania County parents -- his school safety initiative will happen -- one way or another.

"The number one priority from this office is to put an officer, an armed officer in each one of the schools," said Taylor.

Taylor presented his detailed proposal at the Board of Supervisors meeting. He proposed a three year plan which includes adding 15 deputies over three years plus equipment. It would cost about $1 million.

"We are on top of this and we are going to do everything with the manpower that we have to make their school safe and their children safe," said Taylor.

While Supervisors have ruled out the possibility of increasing taxes in the budget for now, that doesn't apply for this initiative.

"We're still waiting on Sheriff Taylor and we are waiting on the school end of year budget to see what they have left over," said Marshall Ecker, chairman Board of Supervisors.

Ecker explains at the end of June they'll evaluate how much the school's budget can provide. Then, they will look at money raised and then comes a potential property tax increase of up to five cents per $100 value.

"We are going to do something. Whether it is going to be what this plan is initiating on phase one of having the 8 deputies the first year, I don't know, I can't say for sure," said Ecker.

Ecker says the supervisors prioritize student safety, but taxpayers have to agree to pay for it.

"That's my number one safety concern is the children," said Ecker.

Sheriff Taylor pointed out that out of all the counties in the Commonwealth, Pittsylvania County ranked 89 out of 95 in funding to law enforcement. He says that is about $240 per person.