GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Sumner County Schools director outlined how the district plans to spend $2 million in total from a state safety grant and local capital money Monday night, which includes adding more than a dozen additional school resource officers to the force.
Sumner County has at least one SRO in every school, but Sheriff Sonny Weatherford told News 2 in July he wanted to create an additional 13 positions to increase coverage and add substitute officers in case of absences.
Under Weatherford’s plan, there would be two SROs at every Sumner County high school and some middle schools. The remaining SROs would act as “floaters” and fill in when a main SRO couldn’t be at school.
“If an officer had to go to court, they could fill in for them; if they were sick, they could fill in for them,” Weatherford said. “Right now, we don’t have that luxury. Our supervisors have to go in now if we have an opening.”
The Sumner County Schools director told parents in a Facebook live video Monday night the district supports the sheriff’s plan.
Director of Schools Dr. Scott Langford said the board also hopes to spend some of the $1.25 million from the state and $700,000 in local capital money on other safety improvements, including adding bullet-resistant film to glass windows and doors.
“It will virtually stop anything,” Langford said. “It makes the glass in our schools significantly more safe.”
In addition, the district plans to purchase fencing, door locks, new doors, and curbs and bollards for outside, as well as add more cameras and exterior lighting.
Langford said he could not disclose everything the district is doing to keep students safe, and he could not say when each school would get the new safety improvements.
The Sumner County Commission must vote to allow the school district to add the new funding to the budget before the district can begin spending. Langford said the commission will vote next month.