Concerns over reassigning SROs at Guilford County schools

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers announced Friday afternoon that school resource officers will be reassigned to different schools.

In a statement, Rogers says he wants to make sure every student is as safe as they can be at school.

But he wants to give officers a chance to build new relationships with students.

"I definitely feel safer knowing they're there and that they're there to protect me and the other students," said Nolan Altamura, an incoming sophomore.

When he heads back to Northwest Guilford High School, he won't see the same SRO he knows and trusts.

"I felt like they really got to know the students and they really know what to do in certain situations with the students," he said.

Rogers announcement stated the reassignment was to help "prevent officers from becoming too comfortable or complacent in their environments."

"I don't think it's a great idea," said Denise Altamura, Nolan's mom.

The mother and son feel familiarity is their sense of security.

"Those SROs, they know certain areas of the school where certain things seem to happen and where it's common to happen and stuff," Nolan said. "If you put new officers in there, they wouldn't know what to do really."

It's a time when feeling safe at school is important for both students and parents.

"A lot of the kids do talk to the SROs and if they know of a threat -- like there was an issue last year -- they knew of a threat and they felt safe communicating with the SROs," Altamura said. "I think that's so important."

She wishes parents were a part of the decision.

"When they're considering a major change like this, perhaps instead of the sheriff making a blanket decision, maybe he should ask for some parental input," Altamura said.

This does not affect schools in Greensboro or High Point city limits, where police departments assign officers to schools.

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