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PHOENIX - Thanks to a federal grant, Phoenix police expect to hire 15 new school resource officers.

They'll be working in elementary and high schools starting next school year. Currently, Phoenix has 68 officers and four sergeants serving 18 school districts.

After last year's shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Phoenix police created a school safety program. It allows schools that currently have no resource officers to hire off-duty officers that are specially trained in safety procedures. The program also calls for patrol officers to spend 30 minutes a week in or around schools in their beat areas as time allows.

According to a report prepared for the city council, police have also been conducting campus inspections and providing safety recommendations. As of early September, police say they have inspected 115 schools.

The department also established a committee of police and security professionals to encourage schools to have an emergency response plan. New training protocols have also been developed relating to school violence.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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