Rethinking school resource officers in Forsyth County

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — School resource officers in Forsyth County are ditching their deputy uniforms for something more approachable.

Starting Wednesday, SROs at six campuses in the county will be wearing a short or long sleeve polo, tactical khakis and tennis shoes.

Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough is dressing down his deputies hoping to create more personable interactions with students on campus.

“Create a perception that is inviting. Create a perception that will not only serve and protect, but will allow the students to get to know the officers,” Kimbrough said.

The start of change as the agency weighs taking on more school resource officers after the Winston-Salem Police Department asked to withdraw from the SRO program.

“If Winston decides they need to apply their resources elsewhere we want to step in the gap,” Kimbrough said.

The sheriff’s office would then potentially fill 28 spots at schools within Winston-Salem city limits.

It is a responsibility Kimbrough is confident his agency can handle.

“People want to say well the price tag of doing certain things in our school, but our children are priceless. Some things need to be driven without a budgetary in mind,” Kimbrough said.

The sheriff tells FOX8 if they take over the SRO program the transition would be gradual and could take three years.

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