Twice the safety for Douglas students

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BOX ELDER, S.D. (KOTA TV) - First, the deal was rejected, then negotiated, and now the Douglas School District starts the school year with two new resource officers.

Last year, a string of school threats forced the district to take a harder look at how many resource officers they actually need.

What Superintendent Alan Kerr found was that their two officers were overloaded with a large amount of cases. The district appealed to Pennington County for an additional two officers and were initially rejected. Each officer costs the county $44,000 - a bill county commissioners wanted the City of Box Elder to pick up.

"We requested two more from Pennington County and Pennington County thought the city should have some skin in the game." Kerr said. "So they provided us with one more and the city provided us with one more. So we have four building and that allows us to have one in every building. "

The school isn't off the hook either. Each officer will cost the school district $32,000.

New officer Hope Bearden says she hopes to set a good example while promoting safety.

"We want to teach the kids and students and staff that if you feel like something is not right, come and contact us." Bearden said.

Bearden will join officer Victor Gust who is returning for his fourth year. The additional help is a much needed sign of relief.

"We had unfortunately seen an increase in some school threats and that type of nature of incidents last year," Gust said. "So yeah it took up a lot of man power. This year having additional resources out here will help with that case load."