Even as the Loudon County school year winds down, School Resource Officers (SRO) are taking steps toward an even safer school environment now and in the future.

These schools have seen some changes over the last few years.

For the first time this fall, there was an SRO from the sheriff's department at every school in the county.

"We need to build better relationships with the children. I think we have done that over the years. And bringing law enforcement into the schools, we have to have a positive relationship," said Sheriff Tim Guider.

Each of the county's SROs have a portable command center.

With a deputy cruiser out front and an officer in every building, the idea is that students will also start to think twice.

"If you have somebody with bad intentions in their mind, or in a frame of mind that they shouldn't be in an environment with this many kids, having the cruiser parked out front is fantastic," said Loudon County District Safety Coordinator Scott Mackintosh.

Lately, Corporal Billy Hall has noticed slight trends that could eventually tie into gang activity. For him, that means it's time to take action.

"There is not a gang problem in any Loudon County School. We are just seeing some students posturing their selves that way. And we are maybe seeing some trends through social media where people are starting to like things related to gangs. But we will make sure to give them opportunities to go in a different path than that path," said Hall.

And since summer break is days away for the district, Hall is looking to prepare the officers as well as school faculty and staff for handling these issues for the coming year.

"I like to use the term liquid. We need to be liquid. We need to be like water running down the stream. When there is a rock, we need to find a way around it. Whether it be a gang issue, a drug issue, it could be a bullying issue. We have to find alternative ways to address those issues."

Hall plans to hold summer training sessions. Taking a moment of the summer, to make the school year a safer environment.

Next school year, Hall is setting up a random text alert system that will allow students to anonymously text tips to the SROs.

The goal is to help stop a problem before it even happens.

Loudon County's last day of school is Friday.

Read or Share this story: http://on.wbir.com/1gMl3lA