New Rutherford County School Resource Officers are inching closer to reality, after a meeting held on Monday night that discussed the issue in detail with the Public Safety Committee. Sheriff Robert Arnold was not present at the meeting due to a previous obligation, but Major Jacoby O’Gwynn and Captain Barry Hendrixson did appear before commission members to discuss the cost of the new SRO’s.
The total cost of hiring 11 new SRO’s during this budget year starting March 1st and ending June 30th would be $194,342. The first full “budget” year of employment starting in July would include 2 additional officers for Stewarts Creek High School. That would bring the total of new hires to 13, starting July 1st. The cost would be $687,890. Not included in the figure is the cost of 13 new patrol vehicles, training and equipment. For that, commissioners will have to add in a one time investment of over $815,000.
Sheriff Arnold stated in a letter to the Public Safety Committee, “If these positions are approved it will take several weeks to train the new S.R.O.s and have them assigned to their own school.”
Sheriff Arnold also wrote, “Approving these positions will not in anyway shield us from ever being subjected to the tragedies that have occurred across our nation over the past few years. This will be a positive step in the right direction to help detour tragedies in our own schools. We cannot prevent someone from committing such unthinkable acts, however we can do what is within our power to do and that is provide a visible deterrent in the form of a SRO.”
To see the full report and to view the proposal submitted to the Public Safety Committee, visit WGNSradio.com (CLICK HERE). Note: this is a Microsoft Word file.