FALKVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In the Morgan County Town of Falkville, there wasn’t enough money last year to hire a school resource officer. So police officers in the small town volunteered their time to patrol the local high school. This year is no different, still not enough revenue for a new officer, but they’ve hired one anyway.
After the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, educators across the nation took a closer look at what they were doing to protect their students. At Falkville High School in Morgan County, the answer seemed to be a school resource officer, but there was no money available to hire a policeman for that position. So Falkville’s police officers volunteered their time to patrol the school.
“They didn’t have to, they wanted to. After the Sandy Hook shootings, I went to them and talked to a couple of them and they were more than gracious to loan their time out for that,” says Falkville Police Chief Chris Free. But Free says this school year, he’ll have a full-time school resource officer, thanks to a number of businesses and individuals that donated the money for the officer’s salary.
“I mean, there are people who really care about our community and care about our school. They didn’t even hesitate when I asked them,” Free told WHNT News 19.
“We’re not a very affluent community but our community really cares about our kids, they’re here for the kids. And that’s the whole, I guess, probably over this last year or so you’ve really seen that the community, and I mean everybody, is trying to come together to help everybody in the community, help the kids here, and just make this a better place for everybody,” says Falkville High School Glenn Lang.
Falkville’s SRO begins work on the first day of school, August 19th. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department is working with the Morgan County Board of Education to provide school resource officers where they’re needed. In fact, the sheriff’s department is hosting a week-long training session for many of north alabama’s school resource officers next week.