LEBANON, Tenn. - Wilson County leaders are the latest to consider increasing school security in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last month.
Members of the county law enforcement committee voted to spend $264,000 to hire and train 8 additional School Resource Officers. They ultimately would like to add 12 officers, so there could be one stationed at each school. Since money is tight, officials are hopeful Wilson County Schools, the Lebanon Special School District and the cities of Mt. Juliet and Lebanon will help out and pay for 4 more officers.
County officials are optimistic the approach will help get officers placed in schools quickly.
"I think we can never prepare enough," said County Mayor Randall Hutto. "We've got to continue to work to make things better."
Wilson County currently has 16 SROs, but none in elementary schools. Sheriff Robert Bryan said the addition of each officer makes a big difference.
"It eases parents, and it eases kids," said Sheriff Bryan. "It is another level of protection for kids in school. We are going to do everything we can to make schools safer."
The decision still has to be approved by the Wilson County budget committee, and eventually the full county commission. Still, leaders are hopeful, with support of school officials, the extra SROs will be trained and in schools as soon as possible.