DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP ) — School resource officers will soon walk the halls of elementary schools in one Piedmont Triad school district.
On Monday night, Davidson County commissioners approved the money to hire seven additional SROs.
The goal is to get them in schools before this semester ends. The sheriff just has to get people hired and trained.
Many parents in the county said this change can’t come fast enough.
“I feel like…it doesn’t matter what age, there needs to be a resource officer at every school,” said Amber Springer, who has two children at Davis-Townsend Elementary.
Soon, there will be in Davidson County. At Monday night’s meeting, Sheriff Richie Simmons and representatives from Davidson County Schools got the all-clear from county commissioners to hire more school resources officers.
“Working together to make Davidson County a safer place. This is going to be part of it,” Sheriff Simmons said.
Currently, the district has 14 SROs who walk through the halls of the middle and high schools. Simmons said a recent shooting at an elementary school in Virginia and the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last year have highlighted the need for these officers. The goal is to have them get to know children better.
“Lots of things…can harm our kids. We want to stop it,” Sheriff Simmons said.
To do that, the sheriff has to find seven people to fill the roles. He’s already found two who are interested and doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble finding more. Simmons said while some sheriff’s offices are struggling to hire deputies, his office is 95% staffed.
“I’m very motivated, and that’s one of my gifts is getting people motivated to come work for me,” he said.
When the new officers are hired, they’ll need equipment. Commissioners also approved an additional $200,000, which will go toward providing these new SROs with uniforms, radios and patrol cars.
Once they have everything, they’ll be able to make your child’s school safer. It’s something many parents are relieved about.
“You never know about school shootings. When they’re going to come in, even at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, even colleges. Having an officer there that would actually take the steps needed to prevent that would be awesome,” Springer said.
The county is also taking other measures to keep students safe. A portion of the grant money will go toward adding cameras to school buses and upgrading door access controls.