Hamblen County Schools Add More Resource Officers

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Morristown, Hamblen County (WVLT) - With school violence always a concern, Hamblen County Schools are getting some extra protection this coming school year.

Thanks to the Morristown City Council, Hamblen County Schools are getting two extra school resource officers and both are going to the middle and high schools.

In this day and time, everyone is concerned about school violence and what's being brought to school.

"Kids there bring stuff to school that they shouldn't bring to school. Not back whenever I was in school, it wasn't as much of it then as it is now, drugs, everything,” says Chasity Bailey, a mother of younger children.

So the City of Morristown is adding two additional School Resource Officers to the Hamblen County School System this year for a total of eight.

"We have to have a safe environment for our kids to learn and our teachers to teach and that's what we're going to continue to do to try to provide safe opportunities for kids within the entire school system,” says Hamblen County Director of Schools Dale Lynch.

City officials hope that with an extra officer in the middle and high schools, it will help cut down on the rotation of officers so they can get to know the students better.

"We do not have a full time officer in any of the schools. We rotate people in and out of those schools. This will provide them full time personnel in the two high schools and the middle schools," says Jim Crumley, Morristown City Administrator.

But the role of these officers is more than just having a police presence. Morristown police officials say it's a way for police to help the kids learn about them.

"They teach some of the kids the internet awareness. We've got Explorer programs going on in the high school where the kids are trained in police work,” says Bonnie Langdon from the Morristown Police Department.

For a young mother like Chasity Bailey, there's no such thing as having too many School Resource Officers. "No. I think they should have more. Two in each school."

If everything goes as planned there's good news for the schools for the 2008-2009 school year. Crumley says they're looking to add two more school officers that year.

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