The McCreary County Record

News

August 17, 2007

SROs greet school kids

STEARNS — — McCreary County schools opened the first day of the 2007-2008 year with a full slate of School Resource Officers (SRO).

Former Deputy Sheriff Joe Horne has confirmed that he began work yesterday at Whitley City Elementary School. According to McCreary Assistant Superintendent Aaron Anderson, Horne and Kenny Shepherd (Pine Knot Primary) are the newest additions to the school district force.

“We now have SROs at all of our schools,” Anderson said. “They are full-time, covering both school hours and after-school activities.”

SROs were first introduced through a five-year federal grant, which expired in 2004. The school system, in partnership with Champions UNITE for a Drug Free McCreary County and the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department, relaunched the SRO program a couple of years ago with the hiring of Mike Neal.

Officer Neal covered all of the public schools but was primarily stationed at McCreary Central High School. Last year Bill Tucker was hired and stationed at McCreary County Middle School/Central Academy. This spring David Sampson was hired for Pine Knot Intermediate School. The board created two new positions for the elementary schools in June.

Tucker is currently away for academy training so Sampson is covering at McCreary Central Academy, Anderson said.

The assistant superintendent added that the school safety officers hired last year to control traffic around school entrances will be retained and utilized as needed.

When not occupied with school activities, the SROs could be available to supplement the sheriff’s department as the officers are all bonded through Sheriff Gus Skinner.

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