New Volunteer SRO's at Bay Co. Elementary Schools

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PANAMA CITY-- Bay District School officials launched a new program Monday to make local elementary school campuses safer.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt administered oaths to four new School Resource Officers today.

The four men are the first to become part of a new volunteer School Resource Officers program for Bay District Schools.

"We've been talking about bringing in some additional help for two, maybe three years, because mike jones has basically been solo for a very long time," operational support executive director for the Bay County School District Dr. John Haley said.

"It's a good victory for the school district," School District Security Chief Mike Jones said.

The district already has deputies assigned to the county's middle and high school, but there hasn't been enough money to cover elementary campuses.

After the Sandy Hook Shootings in 2012, school officials across the country began looking for ways to increase security on elementary school campuses.

These volunteers will rotate around to all of the county's 18 elementary schools.

Administrators are anxious for them to start.

"It would be really nice for them to sit down and look at our current plan and our current procedures that are in place, do some training with our faculty," Northside Elementary Principal Amy Harvey explains.

Even students at Northside Elementary are aware of the dangers that have been posed across the country at schools.

They say they're excited to have these volunteer officers on campus.

"I think it's going to make kids feel much safer, 'cause when they're learning stuff about like the shootings that's been going on like a bunch of different other schools, they're thinking now that a cop is on our campus, they're thinking, 'Wow that's much cooler, so we get our own cop,' and it's going to make them feel really safer," 6th grade student Sarah Grace Noble said.

The SRO's are equally excited about their new roles, as one of them explains, "I can't think of a better way to spend my time than to work with the kids and the schools, letting them know we're the good guys, not the bad guys."

Jones says he's already received six more applicants for additional volunteer positions.

Monday's sworn-in officers include Steve Brumm, Mike Renaldo, Bruce Johnson, and David Lanier.


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