Washington County VA

Washington County, TN school board talks about School Resource Officers

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - Aaliyah Shelton is a sophomore at David Crockett High School, where she says, when there's a school resource officer on campus, it brings peace of mind.
"I feel pretty safe, we have an officer at our school most of the time," Shelton says.
Her mother Debra Carver tells News 5, she feels all schools need an officer present, all the time.
"Wonderful idea. As well as extra safety for the students and the teachers."

The Washington County, Tennessee School Board held a meeting discussing the topic Thursday.
Director of Schools Ron Dykes says everyone at the meeting is in favor, but funding is a huge factor.
"We're trying to cover 16 locations, and that would include an optional school and alternative school. Right now we currently have 6 S.R.O.'s through the Sheriff's initiative," Dykes tells us.

We've learned there are several steps in this process, before it can be approved.
"It'll have to go back to the budget committee, budget committee will have to figure out a way to fund it, then they will have to perhaps recommend it to the full commission, and full commission will have to vote it up or down," Dykes continues.

There were also mentions of having armed volunteers coming in to schools, but most feel that won't be as efficient.
"No. I am against that, I feel like we need officers in there that are trained," Carver says.
Dykes says, "the board of education prefers to use law enforcement personnel because of their skills and depth training regarding dealing with armed intruders."

Carver says, she just hopes this can be worked out, for the safety of the students and staff at these schools.
"That the county can come up with the money and resources. some way to fund that for each deputy to be at each school."

     Ron Dykes says it would cost around a million dollars to get equipment, uniforms, training, and cars. And an annual cost of approximately 450,000 dollars
to pay for their salary and benefits.

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