“I’m sure most of you know about the recent approval by the Cherokee County Commission of a plan to help fund, in partnership with the Cherokee County Board of Education, a School Resource Officer program for our county school system. The work toward getting to this point has been lengthy and frustrating to me personally and to the board as a whole. I am very anxious to receive the proposal from the commission. This board-your board-is ready to act and enter into agreement with the commission.
We have been ready for quite some time. I believe an SRO program will reap many benefits for our students, faculty, administration, parents and our community at large in a very positive way. We have serious issues with drugs, truancy, bullying, general discipline, relationship building between our children and law enforcement, identifying at risk students, recognizing the propensity for serious issues before they manifest themselves into real events and, of course, campus safety. I also believe this program should-and really must-be a partnership across many entities in our great county. Enough with the suspicious attitudes and relationships from events and years past!! Let’s leave those issues at the door! We can do this in a collaborative effort that can be the catalyst toward even greater things to benefit our entire county.
Can you imagine a time when every government entity in this county worked in harmony with one another to advance the causes, concerns and needs that exist everywhere? The possibilities are endless. I have worked very hard, along with the entire board, to get this SRO program off the table and into reality. While I could spend considerable time bemoaning the reasons it has taken this long and been so agonizing, at this time, I prefer to focus on positive things. The commission has offered help. And even though it didn’t pass, the Centre City Council entertained a proposal to get involved with support. Those are foundations to build on.
They indicate to me that the possibility of working together is right there for us to cultivate and grow. So, I ask you all-friends, supporters and doubters alike-to come together. Together we can not only begin the best SRO program in Alabama, but we can do even more.
I will be reaching out to other stake holders looking for more partners to join us in more funding and support to make this program even better than any of us can imagine now. In fact, I’ve already talked to some that stand ready to go to work as soon as we certify the agreement to get it officially started. Will you join me?”