Hartselle city schools adding two new protection officers

The additional officers will allow for there to be an officer at each school in the district

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 7:30 PM

More security is set for schools in the city of Hartselle. The school district is adding two new protection officers.

"Unfortunately bad things happen at schools, and that happens all across our country," Chief Justin Barley, with Hartselle Police Department, said.

Barley said before this school year the district used a total of two resource officers. One was at the high school and one at the junior high.

This school year, the district added what it called protection officers. These officers differ in roles compared to the school resource officers. They are mainly there just in case something occurs at the school to add that extra layer of protection. Because the first two school protection officers succeeded, the school board found the money to add two more.

"The addition of these two new positions, we can put an officer to each campus and that's where they will focus and spend the entire day," Barley said.

"It's a positive influence on the kids all the way around so I like the idea," Melissa Bright, a parent who lives in Hartselle, said.

Bright is a mother of four, one who is a fourth grader at F.E. Burleson Elementary. She says as a mother news like this is always a good to hear, and she says it's nice to know the school district is taking steps in the right direction to protect students.

"Things are much different than they were 40 years ago when I was in school so yeah it's a big deal." she said.

Barley said the two new officers will be retirees. He says it's not only a safety benefit for them and the schools, but financially good for the police department because they aren't having to hire a full-time officer for the job. He said they plan to have the officers in place by next semester.

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