Roger Jones and Ann Cornelius were sworn in as school resource officers Wednesday morning at Scottsboro City Hall. Jones, who spent 33 years on the Scottsboro police force, will be the school resource officer at Nelson Elementary School.
Cornelius, who served for nearly 28 years, will be the school resource officer at Collins Intermediate School. Jones and Cornelius will be at Nelson and Collins six hours a day five days a week.
Scottsboro City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jay Reyes attended a Scottsboro City Council work session in August to discuss additional school resource officers.
“I’m here to stand up for the children of Scottsboro city,” said Reyes.
The Scottsboro City School system had two school resource officers (SRO), one at Scottsboro High School and Scottsboro Junior High School. Reyes said he wanted to increase police presence at the schools.
Reyes said the money to hire an extra officer came from three places. The school system has a partnership with Water, Sewer, Gas and the police department where Scottsboro citizens can donate money to the SRO fund through their WSG bill. Reyes said they are getting about $1,100 a month in pledges. That equals $13,200 per year.
He said they had received $16,000 in donations from local businesses. Reyes mentioned the majority of the donations came from High Country Toyota.
The Scottsboro City School system also raised tuition for the first time since the mid-1990s. This year, the school system made $75,000 in tuition. That is $20,000 more than last year, and Reyes said he would like to use the money for the SRO program.
Reyes thinks more people will get involved with the program when they see the school system add more SROs at their schools. Reyes said every citizen can give as little as three dollars per month, and he sees no reason why they could not have four or five SROs. He said the goal is to have a total of 5 SROs.
Councilman Mike Ashburn proposed a budget amendment to give the Scottsboro City School system $30,000 from ad valorem taxes to add another school resource officer. The council approved the budget amendment, which allowed the school system to hire Jones and Cornelius.