The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is working to fill nearly a dozen school resource officer positions before school starts in less than a month.

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson wanted to have SRO’s in every school by August.

This year's budget allows for seven new SRO’s, and the sheriff's office still has to fill three vacancies.

Captain Shaun Shepherd says it's all about finding the right person to do the job.

Candidates have until Friday to apply for a school resource officer position. It's not clear how many people have applied.

Captain Shepherd is hopeful the department will be able to fill seven new spots soon, but it won't likely be before school starts on August 8.

Qualified candidates must have at least two years of law enforcement experience. Shepard says external candidates will need more training.

“Get them accustomed to our policies and procedures and how we do things,” said Capt. Shaun Shepherd. “Usually that's anywhere from an 8 to 11-week type of program once they start. After that, they will actually attend a school resource officer basic course.”

The additional SRO course is a week-long 40-hour course.

Dr. Johnson wanted every SRO to be ready to go by the first day of school.

Shepherd says the officers will trickle in overtime.

“We don't know when the start date may be, so once we phase them in there's a process,” said Shepherd. “We have to vet the application.”

Shepherd says his team will assign officers to schools once all applications are in.

While assignment locations will vary, responsibilities will not.

Shepherd says there is no change to the department's training program, but SRO's will have one main focus.

“Listening to students when information comes from kids or through teachers about something that may be suspicious. Those are probably things we will focus on,” said Shepherd.

Once these positions are filled, Hamilton County will have 38 SRO's on staff, covering about half of the county's school campuses.

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