Additional school officer position reflects county commitment to school security

Polk County Local Government and Polk County Schools have been working together closely to help increase the presence of security officers at local schools.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners recently approved the creation of an additional school resource officer position to help with staffing at county schools, voting unanimously at its Sept. 24 meeting to expand the current force.

Polk County Schools currently has three school resource officers, with one stationed at Polk County High School, another at Polk County Middle School and a third serving all four elementary schools in the district. The new position will enable the district to assign one SRO to Polk Central Elementary and Sunny View Elementary and assign another to Tryon Elementary and Saluda Elementary.

“Polk County Local Government and Polk County Schools are diligently working together to ensure the safety of our students,” said Polk County Manager Marche Pittman. “The approval of the position reflects the Board’s commitment to that goal and continuing to do everything we can to keep our students safe.”

Polk County Schools applied for and received grant money to help fund the new SRO position for the initial year. Polk County Local Government will help provide funding for the position in subsequent years.

The support of Polk County Local Government will help Polk County Schools continue to improve safety at all schools, said Superintendent Aaron Greene. The district has already been ranked this year as the safest in the state.

“We want to thank the Polk County Board of Commissioners, County Manager Pittman and the Polk County Sheriff’s Department for working with us to help fund another school resource officer for our students and schools,” Greene said. “Having well-trained officers present in our schools to help keep our students and staff safe is a priority for our Board of Education and district administration. The SRO program also helps students, communities and officers build relationships for the future.”