The Scottsboro City Council voted to fund a school resource officer for Scottsboro City Schools at its meeting Monday evening.
Scottsboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jay Reyes attended the meeting on Monday to discuss the funding of SROs with the council. He said in the Spring of 2018, he and Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton discussed safety improvements for the school system.
At the time, there were two resource officers in the system. One was stationed at Scottsboro High School, and the other was stationed at Scottsboro Junior High School. There were no school resource officers at the elementary schools.
The city, school system and Scottsboro Water Sewer Gas teamed up to launch a program to fund more resource officers for the schools. Scottsboro citizens are able to donate to the program through their Water Sewer Gas bill. Reyes said the school system receives about $1,300 per month from that program. He said they received about $15,000 last year, which is close to half of the salary for one officer.
Through larger donations from the city and citizens, Reyes said they were able to fund three school resource officers last year.
Reyes does not know how much the school system would receive in donations this year. He said they have seen donations drop in athletic programs and other entities within the school system.
He asked the council if it would donate another $32,000 this year to help fund another resource officer. Reyes said if the school system does not receive any donations, it would have to put up $50,000.
“That’s certainly something we’re willing to do and need to do because it’s important to keep our kids safe,” said Reyes.
Councilman Greg Mashburn asked if the council could add the $32,000 as a budget item. Councilman Mike Ashburn said the SRO was funded through excess ad valorem tax last year. He said it is not as much over budget this year, but he would like to see it funded even if the city has to use excess sales tax.
The council unanimously approved the $32,000 for the school system, and Reyes said he was very appreciative.
“We are so appreciated of the council for funding a school resource officer for us this year,” said Reyes. “This will pay for a third full-time retired officer.”