Friday, July 19, 2024
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Fentress Approves MOUs Required For SRO Funding

Fentress County has approved two separate memorandums of understanding to fund school resource officers throughout the county.

Finance Director Tyler Arms said both agreements involved the sheriff’s department, one for York Institute and the other for the Fentress County Board of Education. Arms said the memorandums will allow them access to a grant that provides for the salaries, benefits, and additional equipment for the SROs.

“Those are MOUs that we have pass in order to put in for the, the state is doing,” Arms said. “It’s so much per school, $75,000 per school I think, that they give in order to fund SROs and security activities for those schools that run through the sheriff’s department. So we have to pass those each year for that grant.”

Arms said the agreements detail the requirements for what schools must provide to SROs and the expectations of what SROs are to do while working at a school. He said they are also looking into other security resources they may be able to purchase with the grant money.

“They have some other uses they want to use it for this year like some monitoring on entrance for the school,” Arms said. “And that’s just some ideas that are thrown around, that’s not something that’s like set in stone, going to happen, but we’ve been looking into some other uses for it for security for the schools.”

Arms said he believes this recurring grant was instituted last year in order to further discourage school shootings.

“They want to ensure that every school has an SRO in it throughout the state of Tennessee, just for school safety,” Arms said. “To have someone on scene and I mean it’s – I guess it’s kind of to prevent it from being just an unfunded mandate so that, you know, the state actually has some skin in the game on trying to make sure that SROs are provided to each school and each county.”