OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – After the Townville shooting shook the Upstate, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw says he is working with the council and school district to get more School resource officers (SRO) at their elementary schools.
Crenshaw says parents have been calling him concerned and asking how safe their kids are at school.
“It’s about safety. It’s bout security but it is also about the drug prevention, the mentoring, and really allowing those kids the opportunity to be successful when they get older,” he said.
“Kids are seeing at the elementary level now what kids were getting exposed to at a high school level just a few years ago.”
Oconee County schools only have 1 SRO rotating between all 10 elementary schools. Now, the sheriff and council agree, that’s got to change.
They’re working on a plan to hire a couple of SROs by the end of the calendar year, but they have to figure out where the money will come from first.
“We can’t guarantee complete safety at any of our schools but we can take some measures to make them safer,” the Sheriff added.
Crenshaw says it will cost about 90 thousand dollars per officer. If they can get the money and approval from the school district to move forward, they hope to one day soon have an officer at every elementary school.
“I think any child’s life is worth much more than that. So it is a small price to pay to really increase safety at our school,” Crenshaw said.
In Anderson County there is an SRO at every middle and high school. Those officers look after the elementary schools in the area. Sheriff John Skipper says they are working to hire a full time SRO for Townville Elementary.
“You know you can’t secure any place 100 percent 100 percent of the time,” Skipper said.
In Greenville County, there are daily moving patrols at all of the elementary schools, but no assigned SRO.
In Spartanburg County, District 6 has an officer at every elementary school, but every other district has only SROs at middle and high schools, that cover the elementary schools too.