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Decatur city official proposes for more student resource officers

Decatur city council President Paige Bibbee wants to proactive by ensuring teachers and students are safe.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 5:33 PM
Updated: Mar 14, 2018 6:26 PM

WAAY 31 learned that one city official wants to make sure all Decatur City Schools have a school resource officer.

Decatur's city council President Paige Bibbee proposed that the Decatur city school board and school resource officers.

"We were waiting for a go time, to go into delivery. I was watching the news and saw the Sandy Hooks massacre and I remember talking to my wife about how dangerous the world would be that we're bringing our child into and it's not even safe at Kindergarten," said father of 5-year-old Jameel Lewis.

Jameel Lewis daughter was born the day after the Sandy Hooks mass shooting. As a father, he doesn't see a problem with extra school resource officers.

"If you talk to an SRO with a child who's having some issues, I think that helps the chances that the kid will be less likely to do something that'll be less dangerous to themselves or to others," Lewis said.

Decatur city council President Paige Bibbee said there are currently 8 SRO's in the Decatur school system. However, 17 city schools and three alternative schools are without them.

She wants to be proactive by ensuring teachers and students are safe. But one parent says it makes her feel good as well.

"I have two children at Decatur High. I see the police car out front and it does give me a little bit of security and I feel like my kids are being protected. Knowing that someone's in the school," said a mother, Whitney Crane.

Bibbee is hoping the school board and city council can agree to split the cost until state and federal funding can cover it. Right now, it's looking like it might it cost a half of a million dollars.

Though Lewis said having more SRO's might not prevent school shootings from happening, it could put fear in those who decide to enter a school armed.

"Also someone thinking about doing something might be likely to act if they see how frequently the police are near in the schools and how much of a presence they have. That'll deter a little bit more," Lewis said.

Bibbee also said she's planning a meeting with the Decatur Police Department, city council and school board so they can come up with a solution for funding and look into the budget.

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