PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Buffalo High School will soon become the last high school in Putnam County to hire a prevention resource officer (PRO), according to Conrad Cain, the Mayor of Buffalo.
He said the school has had resource officers in the past, but ever since the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department stopped providing deputies to the schools, it’s been up to cities like his to plug the gap.
“In the last election, the current sheriff, part of his campaign was to pull the sheriff’s department out of the PRO program and put it back on the towns which he’s done, which is good,” Cain said. “Hurricane is a larger city, Winfield’s a larger city, [but] Buffalo is a smaller town. So, it’s a little more difficult for us without some special understanding to just surrender our officer to the school ever day.”
Even though it’s now up to the cities to find officers, the Putnam County Sheriff Bobbly Eggleton said his office will help if they cannot find one.
According to Cain, Buffalo has been looking for someone since the beginning of the school year, but it hasn’t been easy finding the funding.
“Of course, you have to understand, for us we’re giving up an officer in a small town all day long to support the school system,” he said. “So, there were a few hurdles in there that the council wanted to make sure were taken care of and approved.”
Cain said he’s recruited a retired deputy from the town of Buffalo to fill the position, and that person will start if he’s approved by the Putnam County School Board at their next meeting Monday, Nov. 7.
He said the funding for the officer will be provided by the school district.