DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett is pushing for a new fee that would help pay for school resource officers.
According to our news partners at the Decatur Daily, the $10 fee would be added to the current license plate tag fees collected by the county. The plan would need to be approved by Morgan County voters. That measure could be on the ballot as soon as this November.
Decatur City Schools Superintendent Michael Douglas says he’s not very confident that vote would be approved. State Senator Arthur Orr says, to his knowledge, the legislation that would create the fee has not yet been drafted. However, Orr says there’s still time to get it done in time for this year’s election.
Local school leaders say the money has to come from somewhere. In Hartselle, Superintendent Dee Dee Jones says the annual cost for SROs and SPOs there is about half a million dollars a year. An SPO is a school protection officer that is not certified by the state’s training commission. Jones says they’re usually retired officers.
Morgan County’s Superintendent Bill Hopkins Jr. says his board will discuss a resolution supporting the sheriff’s plan in February. Hopkins says they have 10 SRO’s right now, but want at least 3 more.