ROGERSVILLE - Students
may notice something different at Rogersville City School when they return for classes January 3,
the presence of a Rogersville Police Department officer. According to
Rogersville Police Chief Doug Nelson and Rogersville City School Director Rebecca Isaacs, city and
school officials have agreed that an officer should again be stationed at the school when classes
are in session. Nelson noted that in light of events, including the recent
mass shooting of elementary school students in Connecticut, returning an officer to the school
should not only ease the concerns of parents, students and school staff, it will also provide an
extra level of security. "We want to do everything we can to make sure the
school is as safe and secure as it can be. Having an officer stationed there just makes
sense. It is always better to be safe than be sorry," he explained.
The school previously had a School Resource Officer (SRO) but that position was eliminated
when budget constraints led to its demise. "A lot of factors came in to play
leading to the removal of the officer, but everyone agreed that now is the time to figure out a way
to bring it back," Nelson added. The city and the school first worked
together in 1999 to create the resource officer position, with each responsible for paying part of
the salary. In order to provide year-round employment and make the full-time position
available, the police department agreed to hire the officer during the summer months to patrol the
city parks. Isaacs said the SROs who previously served at Rogersville City
School were "great additions to our staff, members of our school family, and were sorely missed"
when funding necessitated they could no longer protect and serve in that day-to-day capacity.
light of last Friday's horrific event in Connecticut, we have looked closely at our safety and
security plans and procedures and the need for a full-time officer at RCS was again addressed,"
the director said. "Chief Nelson and his staff were quickly responsive to that end, as they
have always been through the years, and made our dream of a full-time officer a reality by working
with our city leaders to get the placement of a full-time SRO accomplished effective January
3." Nelson said specific details of the arrangement are still being
worked out. "There are still some things we need to looking at, but we know
for sure that we are going to have an officer over there. There is no question about that," the
chief added. Isaacs said the plan to station an officer is something she and
everyone associated with the school appreciate. "On behalf of all of us who
love and support Rogersville City School, I am so thankful for the commitment to the safety of our
students and staff that our city leaders have shown by making this placement possible," the
director explained. "While we may rest a little easier with this good news over the Christmas
break, we will continue to remember those who've suffered and sacrificed in Connecticut and pray
for their healing, peace, and God's grace."
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