WP council discusses new SRO at elementary school

Published 9:30 am Friday, December 2, 2022

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At the work session on Tuesday, the West Point City Council discussed the addition of a new Student Resource Officer at West Point Elementary, as proposed by the Troup County Board of Education. If approved, the officer would be permanently stationed at the elementary school for any safety or security needs that may arise. 

The Troup County Board of Education has committed to funding the addition of school resource officers at all elementary schools throughout the county. As such, they have proposed an agreement with the City of West Point in which the school board would fund the city for the addition of new city positions within the West Point Police Department. City Attorney Alex Dixon explained the nature of the agreement if it were to be approved.

“There are already student resource officers in all of the middle and high schools, but they want to add SROs into elementary schools as well,” Dixon said. “The officer would be an employee of the West Point Police Department, they would just be funded by the school board.”

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The contract would have a three year obligation, with the goal of renewing it down the road. Additionally, the contract would fund an additional officer to the department, as opposed to taking a current officer and relocating them to the school. Dixon also noted that the SRO would be available to work in other capacities when not at the school.

“The officer is authorized, when not performing school functions, specifically during school holidays and summers, to perform any functions of the city of West Point Police Department,” Dixon said. 

Interim Police Chief Richard Carter said that they had identified an officer who was interested in serving in the position that has already undergone the necessary training. 

“Officer Cedarious Thomas was identified with the only one with interest earlier this year,” Carter said. “He has since been to SRO school and is certified. While he is not expected to be the permanent school resource officer, he would fulfill the role until we hire one.”

Councilwoman Deedee Williams noted her excitement for the potential addition of an SRO at West Point Elementary school. 

“I certainly think this is a great move on the part of the school system to extend it into the elementary schools,” Williams said. “Earlier and earlier kids are getting into things that could positively be affected by the presence of law enforcement.”

The city council will vote on the acceptance of the contract from the school board at the next city council meeting on Dec. 12. If approved, it is expected that the new SRO would start in late January or early February.