|SROs now on patrol in LSSD|
|Tuesday, January 15, 2013|
By SABRINA GARRETT
Officers were already present in Walter J. Baird and Winfree Bryant middle schools, but in light of the recent happening at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Lebanon Special School District Director Scott Benson said security needed to step up.
“Over the Christmas holidays we had several conversations with local law enforcement and County Mayor Randall Hutto about keeping our schools safe,” Benson said. “All of our local law enforcement agencies committed to beefing up security in schools.”
While placing school resources officers in middle schools and high schools is nothing new, most elementary schools do not have the program – until now. “We thought it would be a good idea to add the extra layer of security to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make these schools safe,” he said.
Of course, funding is a major hurdle. For the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year, the additional officers will be paid for through the school district’s fund. Benson said that next year they will look for federal or local funding to continue the program.
“Already this morning I received phone calls and emails of parents that are appreciative of that,” Benson said.
Angelic Gardner said she feels more confident now that an officer has been placed in Sam Houston Elementary, where her daughter, Kennedy, is a student. “My worst fear was someone coming in the school with a gun. They have security where the office has to buzz people into the building – but once they are in, they are in,” she said. “I feel a lot better now that they have a trained officer there.”