HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – School safety is at the forefront following the mass shooting at The Covenant School.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is allocating more funding for school resource officers whose jobs are multi-faceted.
“I started out 18 years ago in law enforcement and I’ve always had a passion for the youth,” Humphreys County School Resource Officer (SRO) Lt. Jeremy Brooks explained.
Well before the bell rings at Waverly Central High School, Brooks is on the job.
“I just love being here and building relationships. There’s a sense of pride; I take a sense of pride in my job,” said Brooks.
The position of SRO, however, is much more than a job for Brooks, going well beyond a presence to protect the children, often extending past the school walls and sometimes into their homes.
“You name it and we can deal with anything in a school, from a kid coming to school whose been in a domestic with their parents the morning before, or something like what happened in Nashville the other day,” said Brooks.
What happened at The Covenant School in Nashville is a thought that’s crossed the minds of these SROs. Video of the shooter is difficult for those like Brooks to watch, situations these officers train for but are still left asking, “What if?”
These are scenarios Sheriff Chris Davis praises his SROs for likely preventing, getting ahead of a long list of threats over the years.
“Unfortunately I don’t have the crystal ball that I can’t look into the future, but I can look backwards and learn from it and having these folks right here in this school system, it’s second to none,” stated Davis.
These are the jobs he says that often don’t get the praise deserved.
“They go above and beyond in reaching to these kids. They go above and beyond with their actions, with the community,” the sheriff said.
They are building relationships that Brooks said last a lifetime.
“l know I’m making a difference. I know I’m making a difference and we sometimes don’t see it. We sometimes don’t feel that way, but I know we do because we do every once in a while see it in one particular student, rather it’s during the school year or after and I so enjoy that,” Brooks said.
Humphreys County Schools have four SROs with one on each campus. Davis said he hopes he can double his team with Lee’s recent pledge to increase funding for school safety programs.