Council approves School Resource Officers for local schools

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/19/18

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Robertsdale City Council approved a plan at its meeting July 2 that would provide School Resource Officers for all local schools by the start of the 2018-19 school …

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Council approves School Resource Officers for local schools

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ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Robertsdale City Council approved a plan at its meeting July 2 that would provide School Resource Officers for all local schools by the start of the 2018-19 school year.

In July of last year, veteran police officer Heath Brill was tapped to serve as a School Resource Officer for city schools. Now that the Baldwin County Commission and the Baldwin County School System has come up with a joint mandate that all public schools in Baldwin County be staffed with their own resource officers, Brill would remain as school resource officer for Robertsdale High School, and the city council authorized a plan at its meeting July second to provide resource officers for Robertsdale Elementary and Central Baldwin Middle.

Resource officers for the other two campuses, the South Baldwin Center for Technology and the Baldwin County Alternative School, which is housed in the C.F. Taylor building (the old Robertsdale School on Wilters Street), will be provided by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

“We have been in contact with officials from the Sheriff’s Department and Board of Education,” said Mayor Charles Murphy, “and everyone is on board with this.”

According to information provided by the mayor, there is a vacant position in the city’s Utility Department that could be used to fund one of the additional two positions. The second additional SRO position would have to be a budgeted item.

The council also voted at its meeting July 2 to authorize Robertsdale Police Chief Brad Kendrick to apply for grants to help pay for the resource officer positions.

“These are grants that we’ve applied for in the past that we have been unable to get up until this point,” Kendrick said. “We can always reapply for the grants and see what happens.”

The council also voted to purchase two new vehicles for the Police Department, so that the older vehicles could be used by the resource officers.

Training for the resource officers will be held at the Sheriff’s Department training facility in Stapleton. The cost of the training, which is approximately $500, will be paid by the Sheriff’s Department, officials said.

The first additional resource officer would go to CBMS, officials said, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The second resource officer will take nine months or more to train.

In the meantime, school resource officers for RES would be rotated among the RPD staff from its day shift personnel, officials said. A permanent SRO for the Elementary School should be in place by the end of the 2018-19 school year.

In other business July 2, the council:

•Authorized the use of two police officers to direct traffic for a 1-mile road race on Saturday, Aug. 2 to benefit the Robertsdale High School cross country team. The race would begin and end at RHS with start time at 6:30 p.m. and should take no more than 30 minutes, said RHS head cross country coach Rebecca Bell.

•Authorized the donation of 10 air packs to be used for training by the Elsanor Volunteer Fire Department. The Robertsdale Fire Department recently purchased 30 new air packs, Kendrick said. Ten of the old pack would be kept for training purposes by the fire department; 10 would be donated to the South Baldwin Center for Technology’s fire training program, leaving 10 packs that could be donated to Elsanor, Kendrick said.

•Awarded the annual debris contract for the city to TPR Enterprises of Texas. The contract would be activated only in the event of a storm, such as a hurricane or tornado, which would cause too much debris for city crews to handle.

•Approved the annexation of two tracks of land totaling 40 acres located on Wilters Street which was recently purchased by the city.