Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Van Buren School Officials Concerned Over Unfilled SRO Positions

Van Buren County School officials want to meet with the county’s sheriff’s department to discuss the need for a school resource officer.

The school system has gone the entire school year without an officer on campus. Director of Schools Cheryl Cole said she has spoken with Sheriff Eddie Carter about the situation, but no movement has been made.

“We need one,” Cole said. “We need two, one at each school. So hopefully, we can get that in line here shortly, cause I want one here. We need one here in case something was to happen.”

Cole said the district has about $70,000 in state grant funds earmarked to fill two positions, but the hiring process goes through the sheriff’s department. Carter said the position does come out of his department, but they are currently short staffed. Carter declined to comment any further on the hiring process.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, SROs are employed by local law enforcement agencies and act as liaisons between the police, the school and the community. Cole said the school system also pays for all training needs.

If law enforcement is needed at the school system, Cole said they call dispatch for an officer, which can take up to thirty minutes at times.

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