FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – On the outside, Red Bay School in Franklin County appears to be just another school that’s back in session from the summer break.
However, for the first time the 800 students at the K-12 campus have an armed security officer watching over them.
Facing delays of getting the National Rifle Association’s School Shield program up and running, the city of Red Bay has taken it upon themselves to get an armed security officer inside their school.
“With all the things going on of course across the nation, it’s one of our top priorities is the safety of our schools at this point,” explained Red Bay Police Chief Janna Jackson.
To curb their safety concerns the city of Red Bay is paying for a security officer to be on campus during school days.
Red Bay Reserve Police Officer Eddie Shelton patrols the halls and campus, checking for security threats and giving a law enforcement presence.
Shelton’s ability to be on campus was made possible by the same state legislation that passed in May, giving Franklin County the ability to have armed volunteers in schools.
“We’ve had great feedback from the community,” said Jackson. “I have had parents tell me how much safer their children feel having an officer on the playground and just on the school grounds.”
And Chief Jackson added having an armed and trained officer on the school grounds, gives them eyes and ears on campus to deal with any situation that might arise.
According to Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams, he is still holding out hope the National Rifle Association will get the School Shield program off the ground and be able to train school system volunteers to help protect other campuses across the system.