Pike County Schools to have resource officers

Published 11:08 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

Pike County Schools will now have a school resource officer after agreeing with the Pike County Commission and Sheriff’s Department to assign a deputy to protect the students.

“I thank Dr. Mark Bazzell for being proactive and leading the push on this,” said Sheriff Russell Thomas. “This is something that is needed in today’s world.”

Bazzell said a priority is being placed this year on the safety at the schools in all facets, and having a school resource officer is a step in the right direction.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We’re hoping to have another one by the end of this year,” Bazzell said. “And we hope to eventually have five, one for each school.”

Thomas, Bazzell and the commissioners met in executive session to discuss the need for a resource officer, which would provide a trained, armed deputy to focus solely on safeguarding students every day.

Pike County Schools will be assisting in funding the salary of the new officer.

The commission also passed the budget for the new fiscal year, with very little change from the previous year. Chairman Robin Sullivan said the commission chose to fund the Pike Area Transit System (PATS) at the same level of funding from last year.

Director Dante Frazier had proposed a larger budget to the county after federal and state officials approved granting more funds to the program if the local governing bodies could fund their required portions of the program.

County officials had asked Frazier for more information to make an informed decision.

The commission also chose to continue the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at level funding, although officials are still working with stakeholders to determine whether to combine the EMA and 911 offices to share employees, facilities and certain costs.

The commission heard from representatives of C. Paul Butler III Architects during the work session. The representatives told commissioners about he economic benefits of pre-fabricated portions of the building and the “wagon-wheel” design that allows for one staff member to have a view of all cells in the facility.

The commission voted to cancel the regularly scheduled meeting for Columbus Day.

The commission will meet again upstairs at the Pike County Health Department October 22.

The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.