By Scott Buttram
Trussville City Schools superintendent Pattie Neill and board president Bill Roberts met Wednesday with Mayor Gene Melton, police Chief Don Sivley, and Lt. Jeff Bridges at Central Office concerning school safety for TCS students returning on Friday.
According to Neill, the group discussed immediate improvements in school safety as well as long term security plans for the system.
“The City offered to continue to provide protection as it was before Christmas,” Neill said. “That would include one SRO at HTHS, one SRO at HTMS, and a shared SRO for the Paine schools.”
Ideas were also discussed for increased security at all schools which will be considered at the January 14 BOE meeting.
“A plan for discussion will be to consider an ultimate goal of one SRO at Paine Primary, one SRO at Paine Intermediate, two SROs at HTMS, and two SROs at HTHS,” Neill said. “This configuration could not happen until the beginning of 2013-14 because of the appropriate timeline to hire and train an additional student resource officer.”
Neill said it would take up to 6 months to hire new officers. The new hires would then require 13 weeks of academy training, 12 weeks of field training, and five days of SRO training.
In addition, Barry Davis, Interim Director of Facilities, was asked to meet with the Paine Principals and police and fire officials to obtain fencing for the portable areas at the Paine Schools to fence out intruders and still allow proper egress for fire escape from the portable classrooms
“As school resumes on Friday, we want our families to know that we are doing all we can to keep our students safe,” Neill said.
Dr. Neill said she will attend a Homeland Security meeting for Superintendents on January 9 and she will bring back any additional recommendations to the Board of Education and the Mayor at the January 14 meeting.