SCOTTSBORO, Ala. -- Jackson County officials are set to approve an agreement Tuesday afternoon that would add two more school resource officers to work in the county schools system.
"Two more officers have had funding for them, and we have a contract that is signed between the Jackson County Commission, the Board of Education, and the Sheriff's Department," explained Jackson County Commission Chair Mike Ashburn. If approved, it would add those two new deputies to the work in the system's schools. There are 17 schools in the Jackson County Schools system. Right now, there are two school resource officers that rotate throughout those schools.
"We really need at least four SROs," said Sheriff Chuck Phillips, "That way we can break it down in areas of the county."
Deputies on patrol stop in at the schools. "But, they're so busy now it's hard for them to really do that," Sheriff Phillips said.
Jackson County encompasses a large area, so county leaders say the need for more deputies in the schools was there, and say even more can be done. "We've got some avenues where we're trying to get funding to have even more," Ashburn said, "We've had an agreement to have on the garbage bills that go out in the county, if anybody wants to donate money they can do that and it'll go right into the SRO fund that's handled by a committee that oversees that."
The two new positions are sworn deputies. The school resource officers rotate through the schools, and only the sheriff and school officials know where they'll be each day. "They will float around, and it will be a lot better coverage than it used to be," Ashburn said.
The two new school resource officers will likely be approved at the Jackson County Commission meeting Tuesday night. If so, the two deputies will start immediately.