MOULTON — Six school resource officers, including four full-time officers, are patrolling the halls of Lawrence County schools this year, the sheriff told the County Commission on Friday morning.
“The budget was doubled this year to $160,000 and that allows us to provide the additional security needed,” Max Sanders said after the commission meeting. He said full-time officers are on the campuses that have high schools, and the two part-timers are at Speake and Mount Hope schools.
Sanders said the Moulton, Courtland, North Courtland and Town Creek police departments also are available to help out in emergencies.
Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said the money became available through a state supplemental appropriation and federal funding for safety.
“The state money can be used for safety since we contracted out the service to the Sheriff’s Office,” Smith said. “We used $130,000 of state funds, and the other $30,000 came from federal money.”
Last year, Lawrence County schools used the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and Moulton police for school security.
“It was a joint decision between Chief (Lyndon) McWhorter, Sheriff Sanders and myself to go with one agency this year,” Smith said. “Moulton police did an excellent job last year, and they’ll be patrolling the schools in the city on a routine basis again this year.”
On opening day last year, Lawrence County High, Moulton Middle School and Moulton Elementary did not have SROs because of the lack of funding, but Moulton police patrolled the campuses, Smith said.
“It’s nice to have four full-time officers this year,” Smith said. “School safety remains a top priority, and I thought the board demonstrated that with this funding proposal. Our current plan is the best plan we’ve had to keep the schools safe.”
The commission also approved the appointment of District 3 Commissioner Kyle Pankey and sheriff's Capt. Armand Martin to the 911 consolidation committee. The central 911 board will add an appointee, and the three-member panel will discuss possibly merging sheriff’s dispatchers with the central 911 dispatch system.
In other business Friday, the commission:
• Set up a special meeting Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. to discuss road projects and address the billing for Courtland garbage collection.
• Approved spending $2,190 to repair the roof and drywall at the Jesse Owens Museum.
• Approved spending $4,500 to replace ductwork at the agriculture building.
• Approved spending $10,000 on a matching grant of a bridge project for Lawrence County 28 that was damaged in February’s flooding.
• Approved hiring Kris Long, Pamela Holmes, Brianna Glaze, Michael Aaron Phillips and Curtis Lee Brown for positions in the Sheriff’s Office and jail. They will be paid $13.09 an hour.
• Removed Jennifer Jeffreys and Bill LaPradd from the sheriff’s payroll.
• Nominated Pankey to serve on the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.