All Saraland City Schools will have an armed school resource officer

Saraland City Schools are implementing safety methods to stop school violence; Mobile County School System is exploring options as well
Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Every Saraland City School will have an armed school resource officer this fall.

Saraland Superintendent Aaron Milner is gearing up for another school year with students returning Monday. Milner says safety is always the top priority, but it takes more than a school resource officer. It takes the entire community.

“The term, ‘see something, say something’.. that’s probably the biggest key to this. If we see someone that something isn’t quite adding up, that we know there’s a problem, we need to say something to the police, to the school administrator,” said Milner.

Milner says Saraland City Schools have always prioritized safety, but the greater emphasis comes in response to recent tragedies.

“Whenever we have a tragedy, like we had in Uvalde, and regrettably, other shootings around the country that may or may not have been school-related, it just makes us reassess our plans… reanalyze… reemphasize, and make sure that we are implementing those strategies throughout the school year,” added Milner.

Milner says school leaders and law enforcement are constantly working to maintain safety.

“In addition, we have a great relationship with our director of public safety, our police chief, our fire chief… we meet with them regularly. Our teachers and administrators conduct drills throughout the year, and we’ve done certain things throughout the year to enhance the security of our building,” said Milner.

The state’s largest public school system, Mobile County, is also focused on safety.

Its leaders are still debating whether to have armed SRO’s.

“We have a safety plan on file for every single school in our district. We work with local law enforcement on that. We work with the state department of education on that. We practice drills just as we do for tornadoes or fires, we practice school safety drills with our students,” said Rena Phillips, Director of Communication for MCPSS.

“The Board is currently looking at several different options including applying for grants to upgrade some of our equipment. Also, the possibility of hiring more resource officers and then the possibility of having armed guards at all the schools,” added Phillips.

Mobile County Public School students return Thursday.

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