Schools in a Mississippi county will soon have armed resource officers patrolling the halls
CALHOUN COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Schools in Calhoun County, Mississippi, will soon have armed school resource officers patrolling the hallways.
It’s part of a partnership between the school district and the sheriff’s department to make sure students and teachers are protected from any threat.
Three school resource officers will be assigned to schools in Bruce, Vardaman, and Calhoun City. It’s the result of research done by the district.
“The SROs were part of that needs assessment because we realized that in today’s society, there’s no way around it,” said Calhoun County Schools Supt. Dr. Lisa Langford.
Langford has been talking with Sheriff Greg Pollan for months now about putting SROs on school grounds, and things began moving quicker after a recent incident.
Three students were arrested earlier this month after one of the students brought a handgun to the alternative school.
Pollan says having an armed officer on campus is the most effective way to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff.
“When you pull up to a school and see a patrol car out front, or a deputy standing out front, that’s a deterrent no matter who it is,” Pollan said.
The sheriff will hire the three SROs and says he’s had a lot of response from certified law officers.
“Two of them are in place. I’ll have an announcement by end of week on the third, so it’s been phenomenal so far,” the sheriff said.
Pollan will also need three vehicles for the SROs. He doesn’t want to take away from the sheriff’s department fleet, so he’s put the word out for donations.
“On a post on Facebook, I asked for donations of vehicles, cars, or money in kind, but I’ve had a lot of sheriffs reach out to me, a couple of state agencies, a new car dealership reach out to me, and say, Somehow, someway I will find you a vehicle,” Sheriff Pollan said.
Cost for the three SROs will be split between the district and sheriff’s departments. Calhoun County schools will pay salaries and benefits, while the sheriff’s department will cover all other costs.
Pollan says the SROs could be on duty as early as next month or by October.
Also, both the sheriff and superintendent said they need more clarification on a recent decision by the State School Board that could allow schools to create their own policies that would allow trained staff members to carry guns on campuses.
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