Huntsville Police preparing new school resource officers across southeast

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- We're less than three weeks from the first day of school for Huntsville City students. Everyone's getting ready to get back into the swing of things, including student resource officers.

The Huntsville Police Department is hosting a training course for new resource officers around the southeast.

In the library of Huntsville High School, you'll find 36 law enforcement officers who are getting ready for the hundreds of students who will soon fill the building.

"By us being in the schools and us having this training, and us walking the halls with these kids every day and being around them shows them that that's what we're here for...is to look after them," said Officer Chuck Duncan with the Huntsville Police Department.

For HPD, new student resource officers are required to complete the 40-hour course.

"Law, teenage behavior, drugs, informal counseling, you name it," said student resource officer George Coleman. "If they think it can apply in school it's probably covered in this course."

"I'm going to the new Grissom and I'm very excited about that," said SRO, John Savage. "Honestly, I feel like a kid at the end of summer, I'm ready for school to start back actually."

While the class is about policing in schools, many of these officers already have experience.

"Before I was a police officer, I was a youth pastor," Savage said. "I've had a lot of dealings with working with young people. I love working with young people, they're the future and ya know, building those relationships, getting to know them, finding out the things they're interested in and just being a positive influence in their life."

For others, they hope they can be a part of breaking the cycle.

"If we can have those officers in the school building those relationships, talking to them every day, I think there's a lot less to deal with on the street," Coleman said.