ST. CLOUD - In the wake of the recent school shooting in Connecticut, there's been a lot of debate over whether there should be armed officers in our schools.  However, that's something that's already common in our area schools.

St. Cloud Police Department Sergeant Jim Steve heads-up the School Resource Officers program with the St. Cloud Area School District.  He says they have six officers in the program.

The high schools and middle schools have an armed officer assigned to those buildings anytime school is in session.  The officers also rotate through the elementary buildings.  Steve says the program is about building trust.

Besides being there to protect the staff and students, the officers also give presentations on things like sexting and bullying.

The cost for the program is split between the school district and the city.

Meanwhile, the Sartell Police Department also has an officer assigned both the Sartell-St. Stephen middle school and the high school any time school is in session.  And, the Sauk Rapids Police Department has one Resource Officer assigned to the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district.