Alexander County to hire seven new school resource officers

“You never know when you might be the next town or the next city,” said the superintendent.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:52 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Good news when it comes to the safety of school kids in Alexander County. The school system was just awarded a grant by the Safer School Center. That means over three-hundred-thousand dollars to go to pay for seven new school resource officers. Now every school in the district will now have a police presence just in case the unthinkable happens.

“You never know when you might be the next town or the next city.” school Superintendent Jennifer Hefner said.

With the change of times, comes a change in tactics.

“Safety for the students, and safety for the staff,” said Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman.

Words like Columbine, Sandy Hook and Uvalde Texas are enough to send chills down the spine of any parent who has a child in any school system. That’s why today, Alexander County is taking time to beef up some weak spots in the line between those here to learn, and those with nefarious intent.

“With every school shooting that we would hear about nationwide, we would talk about we are so blessed not to have anything like that in Alexander County.” Hefner told WBTV’s Ron Lee.

But in life, there are few guarantees. As safety in schools are in the forefront of the conversation in Alexander County, action was taken to insure students remain safe.

“We are a recipient of the safer schools of their grant,” Hefner exclaimed.

On the front lines to protect school children as school resource officers. But here in the county, there simply weren’t enough to go around, leaving seven elementary schools without law enforcement coverage. But today, the district announced a grant to be used to hire seven new SRO’s and get them in place as soon as possible. This will ensure every school has a full-time officer on campus while school is in.

The grant totals over three-hundred thousand dollars, plus incidentals like a film to go over the windows of the schools so prying eyes can’t see in.

“This came as a wonderful surprise, we’ve been waiting, and we did get everything that we asked for.” according to Hefner.

The new officers will pull in forty-four thousand dollars a year and will not only be there if the unthinkable happens, but will also be a mentor to those students who need it.

“I was involved with the schools when Columbine happened many years ago. It just changed the playing field for schools,” Hefner recounted.

The grant only pays the salaries of the new resource officers. They still need gear, including cars and equipment to do the job. That cash will come from the County Commission to hopefully be approved at their next meeting.