LEXINGTON, S.C. — It soon will cost Lexington County schools more to hire deputies to safeguard students.

The State of Columbia reports County Council members are pushing schools to pay more of the $2.6 million cost for 36 school resource officers, replacing the current 50-50 split.

The assignment has become virtually full-time, preventing those deputies from helping to meet the increasing demands to patrol neighborhoods across the county.

County leaders insist schools won’t be left unprotected, but are pushing for districts to chip in more, perhaps in stages, in a change that begins for mid-2016.

Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Stephen Hefner says having a deputy in schools all day is important both for security and for developing an appreciation for law enforcement among students.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com