Morgan County sheriff proposes additional fee on license plate tags to fund SROs

Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett wants full-time SROs in every single school in the county
Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:26 PM CST
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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Right now, six school resource officers cover 14 schools in the Morgan County School district.

Sheriff Ron Puckett says that needs to change.

He says if drivers pay a little more for their license plates, the problem would be solved.

“If it’s $18 a tag that’s what we suspect $2.7 million and it’s going to cost about $2.6 million to hire 39 officers for all three systems," Puckett explained.

The three systems include Decatur City Schools, Morgan County Schools and Hartselle City Schools.

Right now, schools fund SROs. However, Puckett wants that money to go toward education so the new tax can pay for SROs.

“It is costly, putting officers in schools is costly. I don’t want to pay taxes, I don’t want to pay fees. I want officers in our schools and this is one way we can accomplish that goal," Puckett said.

Puckett says he’s open to other ideas.

Priceville resident Tom Fredricks, whose kids went through the Morgan County School system says, there needs to be a way for someone to protect students.

However, he doesn’t agree with taxes or additional fees.

“What’s transpired in the news recently in Texas shed’s a magnificent light on how effective a good guy with a gun can be. Whether that guy is an SRO or an educator who’s competent, has the right state of mind, and has the right training to handle that firearm correctly, our students should be protected," Fredricks said.

WAFF 48 News went on Facebook to get more responses on how people feel about the possible fee.

Tara Parker writes she thinks it would be worth the money if it made our children safer. She says her child doesn’t go to Morgan County schools, but she’d pay the fee for safety of children.

Kim Anderson agrees. She says it’s needed and all schools in the county deserve protection.

Overwhelmingly, people say they want to get the money elsewhere.

Several suggest using an alcohol tax to fund officers. Others say bring the lottery.

Chris Faulkner says use the lottery to get the money. He says our children deserve to be safe, but also deserve a higher standard of education.

No official bill has been proposed in the state legislature.

Puckett says he wants to work with lawmakers and people in the county to find the best possible solution.

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