TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – Security is in place as school starts back this week. Colbert County Schools will now have a resource officer in every school in the district.

A partnership between the county commission, the Board of Education (BOE) and the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) has helped increase the number of school resource officers (SRO) in the school district.

The BOE voted to raise its budget for SRO salaries in May. The county commission agreed to provide additional funding in July and CCSO is now providing benefits. There will be eight full-time resource officers with one at each school.

“You want to plan for things as if they will happen. We hope that an active shooter in our school never happens, but we want to make them as secure as possible to eliminate a threat. We’re hoping that this will deter a lot of violence and if something were to happen, we’re prepared to handle it,” said Sheriff Eric Balentine.

In 2022, there were only three full-time and two part-time SROs with three schools having none at all. Parents have said that this new development is a good thing.

“It’s very exciting to hear because they all need protection. You never know what’s going to happen in the school or a classroom, and you never know when you need someone to jump in and take action when something’s going wrong. So, at least you got the security and the soundness of knowing that somebody’s there that’s qualified to do that,” said Sharon Brown, a parent.

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The school district has also obtained $1.2 million in elementary and secondary school relief funds. That money will be used to upgrade all security cameras and access control to all school facilities and lock down alert system.