LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - Starting this fall, every public school in Caldwell County outside the cities and towns will have a full time uniformed officer on duty every day.
County commissioners approved spending $668,000 to hire and equip six more deputies to work as school resource officers.
They will join 12 others already in the sheriff's office.
The move comes just days after a man was spotted with a gun at two different schools that did not have a resource officer.
The man was arrested just blocks from a third school. He remains behind bars and a mental evaluation has been ordered.
Officials say that incident is not why the matter of resource officers went before commissioners Monday night.
Just a coincidence, they said. "We have been working on this for years,"said Sheriff Alan Jones.
School officials say their eventual goal is to have a full time officer as every school in the district.
Once the latest deputies are in place only the schools in local municipalities will be without full time officers.
In Hudson, a full time policeman handles resource duties at two schools.
In Lenoir, one officer splits time among several schools but officials say each one is just minutes from the police department so help is always nearby.
Even so, school officials say they are in discussions with local officials to see how funding can be arranged for full time officers at each school.
School spokesperson Libby Brown said grants have been applied for and other avenues are being explored.
"We will not give up on this," said Brown.