Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools approves additional SROs on select campuses next year

Piedmont Triad News

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — In a vote of 8-1, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School board members voted to extend the contract for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office SRO program, with the addendum to add one additional officer to five different campuses.  

The proposal was made by Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough at Thursday night’s school board meeting at a time when school security is at the top of parents’ and educators’ minds.  

The addendum included a request by Kimbrough to allocate roughly $212,000 to add one additional SRO to Reynolds High School, Mount Tabor High School, Parkland High School, Glenn High School and Paisley Middle School.  

These schools were chosen for a number of reasons: a gun was found on campus, a history of violence or a high number of calls for service from the FCSO. The principal requested an additional SRO.  

This would bring the total number of SROs on those campuses to two and the total number of SROs within the FCSO from 37 to 42 to cover 25 campuses.  

The additional SRO would work in tandem to build relationships with the students and build trust between them so those students will feel comfortable alerting them of problems they might find on campus. One of those being a gun brought on campus.  

School Board member Elisabeth Motsinger voted against the approval, citing she wanted to know more data on how SROs have helped reduce crime.

“I’m just trying to clarify how much of that is…law enforcement…versus an administrator or a trusted teacher,” Motsinger said.

A survey administered by WSFCS found that educators and staff want additional SROs, while students had other requests ahead of additional SROs.  

The proposal now goes in front of county commissioners who will decide if the finances can be used for additional hires.  

If approved, the new SROs could be on campus as early as January 2022.  

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