Van Buren Schools will have a new School Resource Officer starting Tuesday.
Officer Jorge Rivera previously served in Warren County. Director of Schools Cheryl Cole said the hire fills a vacancy that’s been open for a year and a half.
“It’s taken a load off of our shoulders, because there are things that come up at school that it would really help to have an SRO to help with some of these things,” Cole said. “And also, just to provide a sense of security for our kids.”
Cole said the hire comes through the Spencer Police Department. 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.
“We contacted them about possibly doing an SRO or two, and they were completely on board,” Cole said. “They’ve been actively trying to find us one and were able to find one and work out all the details.”
The school system tried to fill the position through the county’s sheriff’s department last year but no movement was made. Cole said the school system has money budgeted for two officers, so the police department is looking for another candidate.