By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City School system has wrapped up another year of success and safety. The Trussville Police Department released a report showing the number of incidents that school resource officers responded to in the 2018 – 2019 school year.
The Trussville City School system is the only system in the state that has more SROs than schools, according to Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill.
“We appreciate the Mayor, City Council and Chief Rush for providing the SROs to Trussville City Schools to keep all of our students safe and all of our buildings secure,” Neill said in a statement to The Trussville Tribune.
In the 2018 – 2019 school year, Trussville Police Department SROs responded to 97 incidents. Only 47 of those fit the criteria for the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, which is maintained by the FBI.
Incidents reported include reports of minor incidents such as unsecured doors to more serious incidents such as thefts and harassments. Assaults and child abuse cases were also reported.
Police Chief Eric Rush said none of the threats investigated were confirmed. Rush said the majority of the incidents reported were harassments.
The school system is considered one of the safest in the state. For two years straight, a school within the system has won the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Awards of Excellence. The Trussville Police Department was credited with helping the system achieve the designation.
The SRO unit is one of the largest units within the Trussville Police Department with six officers and a supervisor. The school system is made up of five schools and one alternative school. TPD has seven school resource officers.
“They fill a vital role within the Trussville City Schools,” said Rush. “Their primary duty is the safety and security of our schools. They are tasked with enforcing all criminal laws within the schools but are also charged with the important job of being a positive role model and a mentor to the students at the school they serve.”
Neill thanked Rush, Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat and the city council for providing the SROs.
“The SROs work tirelessly to watch over our students, employees and our campuses during the school day, and then the SROs are present for specific evening events as well,” said Neill. “We are blessed to have the support of the city and the protection of the Trussville Police Department to help our schools every day and night with anything we need in the area school safety.”
In the 2018 – 2019 school year, 4,740 students were enrolled in Trussville City Schools pre-K — 12th grade.
Below is a full list of the types of incidents that the SRO Unit investigated during the school year:
No threats were confirmed.
Drug possession cases
Property damage cases
Criminal mischief cases
Disseminating obscene material cases
Child custody cases
Child abuse cases
Protection order violations