HCSO Lt. Greg Larkins (standing) teaches an ‘active shooter’ class Thursday to Hawkins County’s six new school resource officers (SROs). Photo by Jeff Bobo.
ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County’s expanded school resource officer (SRO) program was launched in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre last December, but Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said his SROs are more than just armed guards.
Six new SROs were funded in the Hawkins County budget approved Oct. 3.
Last week, those six new SROs, who rose from the ranks of jail deputies, completed a 40-hour training class taught by 14-year veteran SRO Sgt. Renee Rogers.
Next, the new SROs will receive training in firearms and some practical experience with other road deputies. Lawson said he’s hoping to have them on duty in their assigned schools around the first of November.
“The general public wants an armed guard in each of the schools,” Lawson said. “But I’ve always said this program is more than just having an armed guard. These officers are going to be interacting with the children and hopefully be role models to them. Our SROs teach the DREAM (Drug Resistance Education and Anger Management) program, and every day they are doing everything they can to keep down the bullying, drugs, the thieving and sexual predators who come around schools.”Read more in the Monday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.