FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) - Foley city leaders and Baldwin County leaders met to announce the expansion of Foley's School Resource Officer (SRO) program, Monday, August 5.
Mayor John Koniar, Baldwin County School Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee and Police Chief David Wilson gave an update on sworn police officers being stationed at each Foley public school starting the first day of this upcoming school year.
Officials said the officers will be posted to help in any emergency, as well as other school related safety needs.
Officials with the Foley Police department said the number of resource officers will go from one to four, with a sworn veteran police officer at each public school in the city beginning the first day of the 2013 school year.
Lee said the program will provide a huge relief to parents across the city of Foley.
"Foley has recognized that we've got large clusters of their citizens gathering on a daily basis and they're going to have law enforcement available. There are lots of problems, not just threats from the outside, but health issues and emergencies. The officers are going to be an asset to us," said Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee said it will also help children grow up with an appreciation of law enforcement and as members of society.
"I've been associated with school resource officers for 30 years. In every instance, that person becomes a key player in the daily lives of students and someone they rely on. It's a real positive move on the part of Foley," Dr. Lee said.
Norm Moore is a lifelong resident and the president of the Baldwin County School Board.
He said with the heightened concern over recent school shootings, the program makes him feel safer about having his five grandchildren in the school system.
"We don't expect these things to happen in our schools, but they didn't in Connecticut, Colorado and some of the places it has happened," said Moore. "So you have to take them seriously. It's a horrible thing when children are hurt and we feel confident we're doing the things to keep them from getting hurt."
Officials said the program is expanding despite recent financial woes with the Baldwin County school system. They said no officers will be taken off the streets. Instead, they have realigned some police positions already available to expand the program.
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