OLDHAM COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - Seven school security officers will be hired to protect and patrol Oldham County Schools.
The school board voted unanimously to approve the positions at Monday's meeting.
At $32 an hour, their wages will cost the district $320,000 a year.
Superintendent Greg Schultz said he knows it's a hefty expense for the board to take on, but believes it's more than worth it.
"You can't learn if you don't feel safe, if you aren't safe, and we just want to make sure we do everything we can to make that happen," Schultz said.
The district already has three Security Resource Officers. The new officers would be different, focusing on the school's physical security.
"They'll talk to students, they'll talk to teachers, they'll roam the halls, they'll check the doors, they'll check the parking lots," Schultz said.
Each will be assigned to one of the district's seven campuses.
The Oldham County Police Department (OCPD) will fund their equipment, uniforms and vehicles.
They will all be new hires, so there will not be a void in the amount of officers patrolling the community. OCPD will provide six and LaGrange Police will provide one.
Oldham County Police Chief Greg Smith said he plans to hire officers who have recently retired.
"It's a good set up because they know people already and we know them because most of them we worked with -- in fact all of them we worked with, so we know what we're getting and we're getting very qualified officers," Smith said.
School shootings in Florida, and close to home in Marshall County, Kentucky, have increased conversations about school safety.
"You don't want to be the community that says, 'I wish we would have,'" Smith said.
The interview process has already started. The officers will be trained and assigned their schools by the first day on Aug. 15.