|Published: 2:07 PM, 05/06/2013
||Last updated: 2:07 PM, 05/06/2013
Author: Jessica Cross
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
TELLICO PLAINS-Can you put a price on
Monroe County Director of Schools Mike
Lowry, on behalf of the Board of Education, approached the town of
Tellico Plains in April requesting that the town consider adding an
School Resource Officer (SRO) at Tellico Plains Elementary School.
Currently, all three high schools in
the county have one SRO each through a partnership the school system
has with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. In addition, the
individual towns have agreements with the school system to furnish
one SRO for their area. At present time, there are only six full-time
SROs in the county school system and there are 13 campuses.
After the Sandy Hook massacre at the
end of 2012, the school system began discussing and searching for
ways to have SROs in all schools. At a recent County Commission
meeting, Lowry asked for three additional officers--one each for
Coker Creek Elementary School, Rural Vale School, and Madisonville
Primary School--and the County Commission agreed in principal to the
plan and voted to spend $6,000 to train the new SROs in June.
In its quest to have an SRO at every
school, the Monroe County School Board has asked the city councils in
Tellico Plains, Vonore and Madisonville to supply one more school in
their municipality with an officer.
Due to their current financial
situation, however, the town of Tellico Plains faced a tough
"It's not that we don't care about
our children's safety," said Mayor Patrick Hawkins during the
monthly meeting of the council on Thursday night. "It would be hard
for us to pull in another full-time officer, especially at the same
rate that we're paying our current SRO, plus we'd have to furnish a
car. We'd almost have to do a tax increase to be able to afford it."
See full story in the Sunday, May 5, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.
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