SRO shortage solution could cost Marshall Co. - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

SRO shortage solution could cost Marshall Co.

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The county was able to hire 8 retired officers to cover 5 additional campuses. The county was able to hire 8 retired officers to cover 5 additional campuses.

A shortage of available school resource officers is prompting the Marshall County Sheriff to ask the county commission for a major schedule change to keep them in the schools.

That request could prove problematic for the commission; it would require longer working hours, and that could hit the county up for more money due to Affordable Care Act regulations.

This year, the county schools were able to get an SRO at five additional campuses. To make it happen, the sheriff has had to utilize eight retired deputies who can only work 29 hours per week without affecting their retirement benefits.

The sheriff is asking the county to make them part-time employees who would work 40 hours per week, and only when school is in session.

Because finding retired officers is difficult, only five would be needed to cover all the campuses. However, increasing the per-week work numbers has county officials concerned. Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said if they have to begin offering the officers health insurance, overall costs will go up.

The issue is expected to be addressed at the commission's meeting in early February.

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