CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County Public School System signed contracts with four municipalities to keep resource officers in some schools on Tuesday.

Board members approved contracts with ApexCaryRaleigh and Garner to keep School Resource Officers in middle and high schools, totaling nearly $775,000.

The district, that spans 198 schools, currently has 76 SROs. That’s enough to cover every middle and high school.

But, only elementary schools in Apex and Holly Springs have SROs assigned.

“Our goal, for now, is to make sure that we maintain a safe environment for everyone, and the focus now is on middle and high schools,” Senior Safety Director Russ Smith said.

Smith also presented the district’s ongoing safety protocols to board members on Tuesday.

“We do constantly review and assess what we have in place,” Smith said.

Currently, WCPSS has emergency kits in each classroom, as well as code yellow and red response systems that depend on where a threat is and its severity.

“Most of the time, it’s something that’s happening in the community,” Smith said. “So, it’s something that may not be a threat to the school, but we want to make sure that we’re taking proactive, protective measures, then we do that.”

The district is also required to do one lockdown and one weather drill per year.

Additionally, Smith said he plans to increase online training for teachers and increase partnerships with mental health professionals.

“One of the most important ones that we’re looking at is the process for mental health threat assessments and collaborating with other community agencies to make sure that those are addressed appropriately,” Smith said.

WCPSS conducted a full safety assessment in 2019 that outlines multiple ways that officials can strengthen security districtwide, from communication to training. 

See the full report here.