MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - At the start of next school year, there will likely be more school resource officer’s on Morgan County schools campuses. Tuesday, the county commission approved a resolution to hire 8 school resource officers for the county school system.
There are 14 campuses across the school system. Currently, there are eight SROs sharing the load.
“We only have six with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department. We hope to have eight with the Sheriff’s department next year," explained Deputy Superintendent Lee Willis. "We have one with the city of Falkville and one with the city of Trinity.”
Tuesday’s vote beefs up SRO totals to 11.
While leaders would like one for each campus, right now they’re happy this will add 3 more to the force. It’s also not clear which campuses will see these new deputies.
In the past, SROs were contracted employees. The commission vote changes that position to be a seasonal spot within the sheriff’s office.
The goal is to have all 8 on board by the beginning of the new year in August. “If we get eight hired by then they will all begin then. If school starts and we don’t have them, when we hire them they will get to a school," said Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett.
Willis says this is also an opportunity to teach students, officers are there for them. “The biggest part that we get from it is the eventual recognition of students overtime that law enforcement officers are there to protect and serve them. That’s the biggest key and objective we get out of it aside from the safety."
Puckett says no additional funds are needed to hire on three more seasonal deputies. Their duties will begin at the start of each school year and end at graduation.
Willis says even with some campuses sharing SROs, an officer or deputy is never more than 5-6 minutes away. This move works to make that time shorter.