DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Since the tragic shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, we've followed the reactions of many local school administrators as they take additional steps to keep students safe. A number of schools have opted to put armed officers in their hallways. This week, Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin is sponsoring a basic School Resource Officer training class.
A number of schools here in the Tennessee Valley will start the school year next week with new School Resource Officers, and many of them are in class this week.
(sheriff ana franklin, morgan county) "The biggest thing SRO's do is try to deter crime before it happens. That's our goal," according to Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin, who adds these new SRO's will learn that's done by developing a rapport with students and school administrators alike. They have the chance to learn of potential problems before anyone gets hurt, as well as the knowledge their presence alone is a strong deterent. And the students have the chance to learn police are not the bad guys.
"We want them to know that we're there for them and that some of the things we have to do in our job seems like it's negative to them, it's a negative impact to them. But we want to make sure that they understand that its really because we care about them and we want them to be safe, not only at school but also at home," Franklin says. She adds its a big job and carries a lot of responsibility, but she also says it also provides a lot of rewards.
The training continues throughout the week. Coincidentially, Limestone County school officials are planning a drill before school starts involving a classroom shooter. That exercise will take place in the old Belle Mina School.