Campbell parents pleased with increased patrol presence in schools

11:26 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

The Friday deadly school shooting in Connecticut was the reason Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins called for an increase in security for the area's 14 public and private schools.

"To make sure that parents take their kids to school in a safe environment, and teachers have a safe environment to teach," Sheriff Goins explained on Monday.

On Sunday, he announced plans to add at least one school resource officer, or SRO, to every campus in the county. Normally, SROs patrol Campbell County High School, Jellico High School, and the county's three middle schools.

Parent Angela Sparks saw one of those officers near the door of Jacksboro Elementary School Monday morning as she dropped off her daughter.

She admits, taking her 10-year-old to class was not easy after a weekend of watching the shooting details unfold.

"It's a lot on everyone's mind, I think. But, when we pulled up this morning, there was a Campbell County sheriff's car here," Sparks said.

Campbell County is on a short and unfortunate list of places that have already experienced a school shooting. In 2005, a former 14-year-old student was accused of shooting and killing an assistant principal and injuring two other administrators.

Sheriff Goins said that was all the more reason why Campbell County parents need this reassurance of safety.

"I think it has made us stronger. I think we've learned from these tragedies; we'll learn from Connecticut," the sheriff added.

He said he wants to restructure the current SRO program, adding more officers to their current list of six men, so they can cover more schools.

However, budgetary issues have hindered these plans, for the time being, Goins said.

"We want to make sure that happens  and we may continue to do this. I'm not sure, if we can," he said. "But we will for sure finish the week out."

At least for now, parents like Sparks can have some comfort.

"It made me feel better knowing that there was somebody here," Sparks said.

Previous Story: "Campbell Co. adds SROs to elementary schools"

School safety remains top of mind in Campbell County schools. In response to Friday's shooting, and one that hit close to home in 2005, Campbell County's sheriff is stepping up security.

Monday, Sheriff Goins called for school resource officers in all 14 schools. Right now, only the middle and high schools have SROs.

The increased security will last through the week, but Sheriff Goins says he wants to make the law enforcement presence more permanent.

Friday's tragedy in Connecticut stirred up emotions from the November 2005 shooting at a Campbell County high school. Then 14-year-old Kenneth Bartley was accused of shooting and killing an assistant principal and injuring two other administrators.

We'll hear from parents about the increased school security Monday on the Nightbeat.

Most Watched Videos