Jefferson County is making plans to put an armed resource officer in every school in the county as part of a new school safety plan.
Local officials announced the plan as part of a press conference yesterday. Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale says there are currently 25 officers for the 56 schools in the county school system. He says they plan to hire enough contract deputies to cover all 56 county schools.
Hale says he’s interested in hiring retired law enforcement officers because of their experience, but he says additional training will be conducted to teach the new officers to work in a school environment.
The cost of the additional hires is an estimated $1.2 million which will be split between the Jefferson County Board of Education. Hale told reporters that cost could go up to $1.5 million with overtime.
Sheriff Hale also says a threat assessment team, comprised of an investigator, education official and mental health professional, will work to identify troubling behavior patterns and assist students.
The announcement comes two days after a federal school safety commission met in Alabama. The group was created by President Donald Trump after 17 people were killed at a shooting at a Florida high school in February.