By JIMMY ESPY
Trion School Superintendent Dr. Phil Williams is interested in hiring a second school resource officer to help provide security at the schools. However, talks with Town of Trion officials on how the town could be involved have only been cursory at this point.
Williams said adding another officer at the school campus is an issue he wants to discuss further with town officials and with his own board of education.
“Right now, we are in the early discussion stage about expanding police security on campus,” Williams told The News on Tuesday.
In 2018, Williams and former Police Chief Jason Kellett discussed the possibility of relocating the town’s police headquarters to the school campus. Mayor Larry Stansell quickly came out in support of the idea while the town council indicated that more information about costs was needed. Little progress has been made on that idea, in part because providing that information has been more difficult than expected, Williams said.
“It would cost us quite a bit of dollars just to find out,” Williams said.
The school system and the town now share the cost of a single school resource officer who is stationed on the campus. During holiday breaks and the summer, the officer serves as a patrol officer. Williams said the officer works 180 days at the school.
Williams said a second officer on campus would provide extra security.
“We want to make the schools safer and one way that we might be able to do that is to hire another school resource officer.
Williams wants to talk to town officials about cost sharing for the position. That would include salary and any associated costs, though he added that an additional patrol car for the new officer might not be necessary.
Trion Police Chief David Gilleland told The News that he and Williams had briefly talked about the matter and that he wanted to continue discussions.
By JIMMY ESPY