During Governor Bill Lee’s first State of the State address, he mentioned more funding for school security. That funding would go to a grant just like one school district is already taking advantage of.
“With the money the Governor has given us, it will be put to good use,” said Tony Boles, Director of Macon County Schools.
Boles said the school district is currently installing 104 new surveillance cameras. He said the cameras were purchased with money from Governor Bill Haslam’s appropriation of $35 Million for school security.
The Macon County School District received about $125,000 from the State’s school safety grant, more than half went to the camera system.
“The new cameras have a higher resolution, when you zoom in you don’t lose any clarity at all….unlike with the old cameras. When you zoom in on the old cameras, you lose lots of clarity. This will really help me in the long run with keeping students safe,” said Terry Atkins, School Resource Officer Supervisor for Macon County Schools.
Of the new cameras, 82 will be positioned outside of schools and 22 will be inside. At Macon County High specifically, 16 will be inside and seven will be outside.
Governor Bill Lee is planning another round of funding, for school resource officers.
“I’m asking the legislature to join with me to fund an additional 30 million dollars in our school safety fund and to prioritize the districts that currently have no school resource officers on duty.”
Macon County already has nine SROs – they say additional money could help them, especially at Macon County High.
“We would like to bring additional resource officers on when enrollment dictates it,” said Boles.