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$25K in donations given to Addison Schools for a new school resource officer

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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ADDISON, Ala. (WBRC) - A local businessman and a House District 14 hopeful gave two generous donations to Addison Schools hoping to help fund a new School Resource Officer.

The two presented the schools with checks Tuesday morning.

The two men donated a total of $25,000.

They were compelled to step up after hearing Addison Schools didn’t have enough money for a School Resource Officer, but that all changed Tuesday.

The flag outside Addison High School still flies at half-staff; a tragic reminder of the school shooting that happened at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas two weeks ago.

The incident is renewing the push to get a school resource officer at Addison Schools.

“We had a resource officer here three years ago and we knew the importance of it, but the funding wasn’t there for us to continue the resource officer,” said Addison High School Principal, Micah Smothers.

That’s when Gary Hollingsworth and Tom Fredricks stepped in providing $25,000 for a new SRO.

For them, it’s personal.

“‘Cause we have a bunch of children and grandchildren that go to school here of their parents and grandparents work for us. So, to make it so the school’s safer while they’re at work, we saw it as a great opportunity to do that,” Smothers said.

“That’s where we’re at in America. I’ve got grandkids. We’ve all got kids and we want nothing better for them than to be fully protected in whatever environment they find themselves in an unfortunately in the world we currently live in the most effective way to do that is through the School Resource Officer Program,” Fredricks explained.

The new SRO will help with drug abuse prevention education, truancy, and will be another trusted adult kids can turn to.

Addison Police Chief, Brett Rodgers, said the new SRO brings peace of mind to the community.

“My daughter just graduated from here this year and my son is still in school here you know it means a lot to me. You know, I’m chief of police here but I can’t be here all the time. I have other duties I have to take care of every day and it’s going to ease my mind just knowing that somebody is up here,” Chief Rodgers said.

Addison Schools is taking applications for the SRO position right now.

They’re hoping to have someone hired within the next couple of weeks, so they can be ready to go when school starts in August.

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