After the Connecticut shooting.. deputies were placed in all Shelby County Schools to give parents peace of mind. But Sheriff Chris Curry wants their presence permanent at all 11 schools.. he's responsible for in the unincorporated areas of the county.
"I think it would be great for a deputy to be in every school." Responses like that from parents, made Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry decide this. "We're going to continue to cover those 11 schools in the unincorporated areas Shelby County has law enforcement contracts to cover."
There are already two school resource officers, but Curry says keeping deputies at 9 other schools is essential. "We don't have the money in our budget. We don't have enough personnel. If we can't get some overtime funding then we're gonna cover schools anyway and continue to cut back other services." But when he asked commissioners to extend additional funding in the overtime budget, Commission Chairman Lindsey Allison said, "I don't think we can go it alone to make for overtime at this time, knowing our budget, but I would like to sit at the table and know what other resources are available."
She also suggested where funding could be found. "There's also an item in his budget for overtime which currently has amount of $450,000." But Curry says more money is needed, so in the meantime nine deputies will remain in schools and off patrol to help ease the mind of parents like Bonnie Britt. "School should be one of the safest places for kids to be."
Sheriff Curry says "When you have someone that comes with that evil intent, that's when it takes a person who is trained, qualified and capable and has made the commitment they're not going to let this happen."
He is meeting with school leaders next month and Commission Chairman Lindsey Allison would like a board member to be there. Curry says a plan was presented in 2003 to put a deputy in all 11 schools, but it was not accepted.