School District Looks To Add More SRO's After Florida School Shooting

Posted at 9:09 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 23:51:25-05

Following the tragic Florida school shooting, school board members with the Cheatham County School District have pushed to have a school resource officer in every school.

A lot has changed in the seven years since Sgt. Gilmore became a school resource officer. He's now the team's supervisor and in the week since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida he's been immersed in the issue of school safety.

"Kids are losing their lives for no reason," said Gilmore. "Unfortunately the good things that we can do in coaching or mentoring kids, we're having to shift that focus into just physical security."

Currently, half of the schools in the district have SRO's. Before last school year the district only had three SRO officers, three more were added last year but now the Sheriff's Office is pushing to put an officer in every school in the district.

"If there was no police officer there at all, what's the response time? Here, four minutes, seven minutes, nine minutes," Gilmore asked. 

Earlier this month the school board approved a plan requesting funds to add six more SRO officers over five years. The county commission will have the final say but right now, the money just isn't there. 

"I don't think there's a dollar value on human life and definitely not a dollar value on a child's life," Gilmore said. 

As county leaders and school districts across the country grapple with whether to add or not add more officers in schools, Gilmore wants parents to be more cognitive of what they're kids are doing online, and to kids reach out to the students who are isolated, it may be the change this country needs. 

"It never hurts to smile, it never hurts to lend that shoulder to someone and say hey what's going on? Lend and ear to them, what's going on today, hows your day," Gilmore explained. 

The school board's plan will go before the county commission in May.