A ‘first’ for Pickens County Schools; all county schools now have SROs
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Pickens County Schools made history to start the 2022-2023 school year. For the first time ever every county school has a School Resource Officer. A federal grant made it possible, according to school district leaders.
School Resource Officers are now assigned to Gordo High School, Reform and Aliceville schools and the career center.
Gordo High School history teacher Jonathan Pate admitted he often felt uneasy over the years without that extra layer of protection of added security.
“You watch TV and circumstances and see what happened at other schools,” said Pate.
Deputy James Davis is Gordo High School’s SRO officer. He was not allowed to talk to the media but his comforting presence is already being felt.
“The world we live in today it’s obviously great to have someone here help us and the person we need here,” said Pate.
A federal grant made the hires possible. Sheriff Todd Hall says this has been in the works for awhile now.
“What we’re trying to do is be pro-active, prevent stuff and be reactive because across the nation these days we’ve had some terrible, terrible tragedies,” said Sheriff Hall.
Principal Mark Capps says students and teachers are pleased, they feel better knowing James Davis is there for them should the unthinkable happen.
“Just safety feel having a police officer walking around your campus,” said Capps.
Davis does far more than walk the halls and make sure the gates are locked.
A major part of his job is to develop trust with the students including classroom visits.
“A lot of the kids know him already from youth football, so there is a connection already with a safety net, so it’s a great benefit,” said Capps.
Sheriff Todd Hall says the federal grant is good for two years. For the third year and beyond, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department will need to come up with funds to continue with the SRO officers.
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