Beginning in January, the Floyd County Police Department will permanently assign two officers each to the four county school districts.
The County Commission ratified this week a memorandum with Floyd County Schools that renews automatically each year. The idea is to foster relationships between students, parents, teachers and police that will help reduce crime in the long run.
“It’s a good partnership,” County Manager Jamie McCord said. “It makes the whole community safer.”
Since the late 1990s, four police officers have been assigned as school resource officers for the Coosa, Armuchee, Model and Pepperell district schools. They’ve typically been part-time or off-duty officers, rotated as available.
On the recommendation of Police Chief Mark Wallace, the county commission agreed to add positions to the agency.
The school board will cover 75% of the salaries and benefits.
The county will pick up the remaining 25% and maintain responsibility for training, equipment and other costs.
“This is a win-win,” Commission Chair Scotty Hancock said. “We’re not losing officers on patrol to fill the positions. That’s an addition.”
The agreement calls for two more school resource officers, totaling six, to cover the county schools through December. The eight permanent assignments start Jan. 1.
“They’ll be seasoned officers; the same ones all the time,” Wallace said.
The SRO program has four major goals: reduce incidents of school violence, maintain a safe and secure learning environment, reduce criminal offenses committed by students and establish a rapport.
In other actions, the County Commission awarded a $24,800 contract to Rome-based Multi Craft Construction to renovate the Victim Witness area of the Judicial Building.
McCord said there were three bids for the project and Multi Craft was the lowest. Plans include replacing some wall sections and doors with glass and upgrading the lighting, flooring, electrical and data systems.
The board also unanimously approved a rezoning and special use permit required to keep in business the convenience store and mini-warehouses at 4970 Rockmart Highway.
The businesses have been there for decades but the parcel was mistakenly zoned for suburban residential development. The error was caught when the new owner went to apply for an alcohol package license — which can’t be issued at a property zoned for homes.
Rome-Floyd Planning Associate Planner Brice Wood said there are other commercial operations nearby and “we’re going to attempt to correct that as well.”