Hamilton County receives grant to hire more SROs at schools
The Department of Justice is taking steps to make schools safer.
They're doing this by giving school systems across the nation a cut of nearly $125 million dollars to help get School Resource Officers back into the schools.
Three counties in Tennessee were chosen for the grant; Hamilton County being one of them.
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond was notified Friday afternoon that the county was being awarded one million dollars.
Out of the three counties awarded money, he says Chattanooga was given the most.
The money will provide eight additional School Resource Officer positions.
There are currently 18 resource officers for the over 70 schools in the system, and Hammond says the addition of new officers will help out.
We spoke with several students and parents on the matter and they all agreed, it makes them feel safer knowing an officer is there in the event of an emergency.
"I think it will help our schools, to help the kids that are being bullied to have someone to go to," said Madison Pruitt, student.
"More protection, I mean stuff will still happen, but there will be more protection and stuff like that, "said Candi Lane, parent.
"You never know who's following you or watching you so having an SRO is safe, it feels very safe," said Stephanie Stallings, student.
The grant will pay for the new positions for three years, but the county will be required to foot the bill for the fourth.
The County Commission will need to formally accept the grant before moving forward.
Sheriff Jim Hammond says the new SRO's will likely be in place by the first of the year.
He says if approved by the Commission, the officers will be placed in schools based on research conducted by the sheriff's office.