SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WAFF) - Before students in Scottsboro return to class Wednesday, school leadership is spending the days leading up advocating for student safety. Superintendent Dr. Jose Reyes, Jr. spoke before city council Monday pushing for more school resource officers.
The city school system currently has two SROs for the five campuses. One officer is at the high school while the other is at a junior high campus.
“We want to put in retired officers," explained Reyes. "Legislation has been passed that allows us to do that so we would like to ultimately put three retired officers -- one in each of the remaining schools.”
Reyes explains that three additional officers would cost the system around $100,000. Through a number of individual and business donations, the system only has a third of that money.
“Council has been pushing the voluntary program where people can put money on their water, sewage and gas bill. We’ve been pushing that for a while," said Councilman Mike Ashburn. "This is just another way we can help along the way and maybe in the future we can help some more.”
At the council work session meeting Monday, Ashburn proposed that the city take $30,000 from their general fund to help pay for an additional officer.
Ad valorem taxes are funneled into the general fund which has some additional funds this year, Ashburn explained.
Glenda Parrish is the caretaker of her two school-aged grandchildren. “We worry a lot about [school safety]. I think that they need a guard there in case something happens so somebody is there as soon as possible," said Parrish.
As it stands, donations from various avenues have already paid for one officer that will start in September and the council is helping to fund another. This potentially leaves the system down just one officer.
Dr. Reyes says major donors have been High Country Toyota and Noble Trucking. This week around $16,000 was deposited into the school safety account.
You can add money to your water, sewage and gas bill each month that will go directly to school safety. Reyes said giving just $3/month or $36/year goes a long way!
Scottsboro City Council will take these matters up for a vote next week.