MT. JULIET, Tenn. - In an effort to ease the minds of parents, students and teachers in Wilson County new school resource officers have started watching over all of the county's schools.
"I'm not looking for anything in particular it's more so you can walk the halls, teachers get a sense of security that there's somebody here watching 'us', keeping an eye on 'us,"' says Officer Brad Haynes as he walked the halls of Lakeview Elementary School on Monday.
Officer Haynes is part of a new push to have school resource officers in every Wilson County school and that now includes elementary schools. His job is to be an extra set of eyes and ears in hope of keeping every student safe.
"Check doors, make sure everything is locked up. Teach some classes when they need us too. Making friends with them and getting in and out of classrooms making sure they see you're there," Haynes says about his new role.
The 27-year-old is still technically employed by the Wilson County Sheriff's Department although he will spent five days a week at Lakeview. He is also armed, just like any other police officer might be.
"That's the hope, is that you don't have to ever act but sometimes you do," added.
Teachers appreciate his presence too.
"Definitely knowing that there's a sheriff's car out there in front, people know there's an officer of the premises so it does make me feel safer," says Mary Beth Griffin who teaches Physical Education at Lakeview.
The new SRO's are being funded by the County Commission for the remainder of the school year. Next year each city and town will likely have to share that funding.