Sheffield hiring retired police to work school safety

Updated: Sep. 15, 2019 at 6:44 PM CDT
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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Sheffield is increasing safety by hiring more law enforcement. They’re not hiring school resource officers but instead, they’re bringing on retired police.

A new law that went into effect in May allows law enforcement agencies to hire retired police officers to work at schools. The Sheffield Police Department is one of the first departments in Alabama signing up former offers for the job.

School safety is a top priority for Sheffield Police Chief Rick Terry. For a short time, Sheffield City Schools only had one school resource officer split between the 3 schools. Having only one SRO was putting students, staff, and parents at risk. Under the new law, the Sheffield Police Department is now able to hire two retirees from the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Terry says hiring retired officers is more cost-effective than hiring additional school resource officers, who are full-time police officers and cost twice as much as retired officers.

“I enjoy serving the community. I’ve had a career of 33 years as an officer, as a deputy sheriff and Colbert County Sheriff’s Department. I enjoy getting to be around and protect people,” said Tim Howell.

The cost of the retired police officers is being split between the school system and the city.

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