Deputies return to nine Shelby County Schools
Many students go back to class Thursday and safety is on the minds of parents. Eleven Shelby County Schools will have a deputy on campus all day.
Some of the cuts include pulling two people off each patrol shift, pulling someone out of criminal investigations as well as transport services. Sheriff Chris Curry says it's a short term schedule until a permanent solution can be made.
It's back to school with security a top priority. From school employees in Jefferson County learning active shooter training to Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry's decision to keep deputies at 9 schools in un-incorporated areas. Two other schools already have Student Resource Officers. Sheriff Curry says "A person, a trained competent capable person there on the scene is what actually changes the impact of the incident."
"So here's why the Sheriff wants a deputy in each school. For a city like Calera, the distance from the police station to all the schools and back is 3.7 miles. For Helena it's 6.3miles. But, for the Sheriff's office, it's over 119 miles, making it difficult for two school resource officers to cover all the schools.
But to keep schools manned, the sheriff has to cut back. He doesn't have the funding to hire more deputies. "We're gonna draw some people in that would normally be off, therefore they're gonna be on overtime."
Shelby County Commission Chairman Lindsey Allison said this during a meeting last Wednesday. "There's also an item within his budget for overtime which currently has the amount of approximately $450,000."
But Curry says he doesn't have that because his original budget was under-funded about 400-thousand dollars, making him use his overtime budget to cover regular expenses.
That's why he went to the commission last week.. to ask for more money. "We don't have any overtime to spend in this category, it's gonna have to be applied to the under-funded side of the regular salaries."
Sheriff Curry says many ideas are being discussed to find a permanent solution. Jefferson County schools have a security plan in place. Birmingham has two SRO's in every high school as well as several security officers that patrol schools. Anniston has SRO's at each school. Hoover and Tuscaloosa County schools don't re-start until Monday.