Proposal: by law, require and fund the placement of one patrol officer in a patrol vehicle at every K-12 school in the United States.
There are approximately 100,000 K-12 schools in the U.S. The median salary for a patrol officer is $65,540 [Source]. Labor cost to put one patrol officer outside of every K-12 school is 6.554 billion dollars.
The cost of a new police car, needed by many departments to fulfill this task, is about $45,000. If every police department needs another vehicle to cover the schools in their area, the cost for the vehicle times 100,000 schools would be 4.5 billion dollars more.
Another expense is the cost of administering the program, which is difficult to estimate as the government operates very inefficiently, but perhaps 0.5 billion dollars would be more than enough.
Finally, some money is needed to fund training and equipment for each officer, at perhaps $10,000 per officer. This is not the training for a civilian to become an officer, but specific training on preventing or dealing with school shootings, adding another 1 billion dollars to the cost.
Estimated total cost of this proposed program:
12.554 billion dollars, rounded up to 13 billion.
These funds should be provided by the government subject to documentation that each school is covered during the entire school day, including enough time before and after the official start of the day to protect all students. Departments that do not cover the school should be refused further funds, or fined, or both. This program should be mandatory. It will seem to most police departments that the odds of a school shooting in their area is low, and it is low. But all schools must be protected.
The U.S. Congress has approved 40 billion dollars for the Ukraine war. Less than one third of that amount would protect our schools and our children.
New Police Officers
The U.S. has approximately 800,000 sworn officers at all levels — federal, state, county, city/town. An additional one officer per K-12 school would increase that number by 100,000, which is a 12.5% increase. These officers would be available for other tasks. It would NOT be the case that every school would be protected by whichever new officer were hired. Rather, different officers would cover the school in multiple shifts, so the increase is in person-hours of work time, requiring on average an additional officer per school.
Hiring 100,000 new officers would mean more jobs for the nation. As some persons would be leaving civilian jobs to become police officers, those job vacancies would be filled by persons who are civilians. So the increase in jobs would benefit persons who are not considering becoming an officer.
Such a program could be run at the State level, if Congress does not act to protect schools. But it would be much better if the entire nation were protected by a bill at the national level.
Ronald L Conte Jr