ETOWAH CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Voters in Etowah County overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allocate 100% of money left over from feeding jail inmates, to the school resource officer program.
Voters approved the measure, 19,246 or 85% saying yes, vs. 3,364 or 15% saying no. Sheriff Jonathon Horton says the margin didn’t surprise him.
"Of course everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but to me, it was a no-brainer, it was a win-win for everybody," said Horton. He said he spoke at numerous meetings about the referendum, as did Etowah County School Superintendent Alan Cosby.
Increasing the number of the county's SROs has been one of Horton's goals since taking office.
Currently the SROs are jointly paid for by discretionary funding from the sheriff's office, the county commission, and the county board of education.
“It will reduce what we all have to do collectively and hopefully give us enough to put SRO in every school and that’s the ultimate goal,” said Horton.
Horton says he doesn’t know how the money will be used in the SRO program yet, since he needs to see how much money will be left over.
He's already increased the number of SROs, but would like to have one at every school.