Armed off duty officers added to Montgomery County schools - WKRN News 2

Armed off duty officers added to Montgomery County schools


Between his uniform and gun, David Cobb stands out like a sore thumb at New Providence Middle School in Clarksville, but in a good way.

"Anything that happens here at school, whatever the issue is at New Providence, I take care of it," said Cobb, pacing the hallways.

Cobb is a school resource officer, or SRO.

He's a Montgomery County Sheriff's employee, whose full time job is to keep the students, staff and teachers safe.

"I'm here early in the morning, usually around 6:20 a.m.," explained Cobb. "And I don't leave until all the students are gone and pretty much the faculty is gone."

Right now, all middle and high schools in Montgomery County are covered with someone like Cobb; it's security at the elementary schools the district has agreed to step up.

"To act as a deterrent for crime and just to show a law enforcement presence at these schools," said John Fuson, the Montgomery County Sheriff. "

Starting this month, Montgomery County schools will hire an armed, off-duty police officer or sheriff's deputy to watch over their youngest students.

It's costing $140,000 to make this a reality until the end of the school year.

"We support this, regardless of the cost, anything that we have to do," said Al Ansley, Clarksville's police chief, "We're going to support this 100%."

But keeping these off-duty additions around long-term will cost much more, $2.8 million per year more.

Fuson told Nashville's News 2, "I definitely feel confident about the process going forward, but the real question is, how are we going to fund this and will we be willing to fund this?"

The district hopes the Tennessee legislature will step up to provide more funding to make this extra security permanent.

It's something parents like Bart Merriam fully support, "I think it's high time we put some power back on the side of the good guys."

"Guns are an equalizer," added Merriam, "If I'm 6'4 and you're 5'3, but we each have a gun, we're equal."

Montgomery County schools added they are also in the process of reviewing other security procedures at all of their buildings.

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