In July of this year, Governor Bill Lee made grant funds available to school districts in Tennessee for the purpose of expanding access to School Resource Officers (SRO). Lauderdale County Schools was awarded this grant and has expanded the SRO program in the county by adding two new officers. This expansion now gives each regular school in the county access to a full-time resource officer on campus.
“I am excited that we have reached our district’s goal of expanding SRO access to each school in the county. I want to thank Mayor Gaines, Sheriff Sanders, and the local juvenile authority for their partnership in making this happen”, says Lauderdale County Schools Superintendent, Shawn Kimble. “This is something that our staff and students deserve.”
In Lauderdale County, SROs are employed by the local sheriff's department with oversight coming from the county’s juvenile court administrator, Kim Coffey. The local juvenile authority makes sure that SROs work closely with school administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both staff and students.
The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents. However, local school resource officers typically have additional duties, including mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues. The primary goal is for each SRO to become a positive part of the school’s culture while building relationships with the school and community as a whole.