BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In the past, retired deputies helped patrol schools. But now for the first time, all Jefferson County Schools will have a full time sheriff’s deputy staffed as a school resource officer.
Training will prepare officers for active shooter situations.
“[It’s] to ensure the deputies understand, particularly the new deputies that have not gone through active shooter training, the response required of them.” Capt. Felicia Rucker-Sumerlin said.
The sheriff’s office posted pictures on their Facebook page, of the training that took place Friday at McAdory High School . The office is also putting together a promotion video showing the work, the dedication and the training of the SRO’s.
When Sheriff Mark Pettway took office, he was committed to making sure all 56 county school had full time deputies; not including retired deputies returning to the job.
“The sheriff’s office hired 14 deputies that will take the place of 14 contract deputies, so our schools will be covered with full time personnel.” Rucker-Sumerlin said.
The SRO training also includes staff members at the school, so they will understand what will be required of them in an active shooter situation.
It’s a daunting task for the Jefferson County SRO’s to cover all 56 schools. The sheriff’s office has also added Fairfield schools, and two private schools to the list. This will expand deputies to 62 schools.
There is another key factor for protecting the schools.
“The students have to trust the deputies and the staff has to trust the deputies. You have to build a relationship with them.” Rucker-Sumerlin said.
Training resumes on Monday. Jefferson County schools starts back to school on August 27th.