Madison County Commission approves SRO funding, but more officers still needed

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The Madison County Commission approved funding for nine school resource officers for the Madison County School System on Wednesday.

The agreement will provide SROs for the 2016-2017 school year through the Madison County Sheriff's Office and its discretionary funds. The staffing is up one from last year's eight SROs for the district's 29 schools, but it still leaves New Hope High School as the only high school in the system without a permanent officer.

"The big thing is these schools are deserving of these school resource officers," said Chairman Dale Strong. "The big thing is finding people that are qualified to do the job and then also finding the ability to pay for it."

The sheriff's office told the commission it does not currently have the man power to provide more SRO staffing.

The school system first implemented SROs in 2008 using deputies with a minimum of three years experience. Those deputies then have to complete a five-day basic SRO training program, as well as attend a three-day advanced SRO training school.

The sheriff's office said it is working with district leaders on a solution to increase staffing. Meanwhile, commissioners also said that they aim to help place one at New Hope High School before the start of the new school year.

"Hopefully the school board will find some funding to cover that and hopefully have enough time to get them trained and have them in there soon," said Strong.

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