The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

August 15, 2013

AG encourages schools to apply for resource officer grants

Madison County schools have already shown interest



Chief Operations Officer Joe Cronk is leading ACS' efforts to submit an application for the grant, and while the district is still working on that application, he said, it would likely use the money on measures like ID-card access readers for doors, metal detectors and enhanced security surveillance systems.

"We live in a time where we must take security seriously. I am happy to see grants like this become available to help keep our most treasured possessions - our children - safe," Cronk said.

While ACS has already developed a strong relationship with the Anderson Police Department, he said, the district "would like to see an increased police presence in our schools." Whenever they're in the vicinity of a school and have no other priority runs, Anderson police will often stop by and complete walk-throughs.

Zoeller said he's aware of multiple schools' concerns regarding the longevity of the program, as many have "been burnt" by legislative changes before. But he added that it has a better chance of becoming annually funded if schools take advantage of the grants.

Frankton-Lapel Community School Corp. had resource officers years ago before budget cuts forced the district to make tough decisions — one of which was to eliminate the SRO positions, Superintendent Bobby Fields said.

While the district has other security measures in place, such as cameras and buzzers at school entrances, Fields said Frankton-Lapel is planning to apply for the grant to hire SROs again.

"Any hurdle you can throw in the way of somebody like that, an active shooter, gives you more time for police to arrive. It would help greatly," Fields said.

Like Dani Palmer on Facebook and follow her @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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