AES to obtain its own school resource officer

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 26, 2019

Andalusia City Schools will now have a school resource officer on all campuses.

“We were approached a couple of months ago about the possibility of picking up the same percentage of a salary of a second school resource officer,” Superintendent Ted Watson said. “Of course, that is a steal of a deal for us. The city takes care of about 75 percent of it and we take care of 25 percent.”

Watson said when it comes to providing more safety for the kids it is a no brainer.

“The safety element of having somebody full time on all campuses goes without saying is a no brainer,” Watson said. “Once again, we are excited about our relationship with the city and what they have been willing to do for us and helping us out. I can’t say enough about how beneficial that relationship is.”

Currently, Andalusia Police Department officer Jackie Woods has been the only SRO splitting his time between the elementary school, junior high and high school.

“If you are looking at actual students, you are going to have more at the elementary school than the junior high and high school combined,” Watson said. “We have 1,000 students at the elementary school. It is a huge campus, but architecturally it is easy to manage. It’s just a small city, I mean, I’m from a town that doesn’t even have that many people.”

Watson said the officer will be able to not only provide safety but education, as well.

“This officer will be able to build relationships with students,” Watson said. “And be able to teach them that law enforcement officers are people you want to have on your side.”

He said they are hoping to have the officer in place sometime at the beginning of the school year.