Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 28, 2014

BOE rejects SSO promise

Unnamed commissioner offered $200K to fund SSO in schools budget

CROSSVILLE — At least one member of the Cumberland County Commission has proposed an "agreement" with the Cumberland County School System to fund a School Safety Officer program.

However, last month, the BOE voted unanimously to support a School Resource Officer program in cooperation with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department. Also, there is no record of this proposal of commissioners being approved in any open meeting of the Cumberland County Commission, nor discussion of a specific monetary amount.

Sandy Brewer, 3rd District representative, said a member of the county commission, whom she did not name in the meeting, contacted her to see if the board of education would support an SSO program with a funding commitment by the commission

"He told me several county commissioners were seeking and getting additional support for this proposal to take to the full county commission," Brewer told the board. "It was basically they were willing to increase the funding to the board of education annually for $200,000. But, the restriction on that was that they do not want SROs. They're wanting the SSOs. He said they would prefer the school officers fall under our head of security, but they were willing to support a proposal and take it to the full commission for a $200,000 increase to our funding."

David Bowman, 7th District representative, was less than enthusiastic about the pledge of support.

"I think they're trying to get us to back off SROs so it will kill the whole thing," Bowman said. "This is the same county commission, and I don' t know who talked to you, but there were those who were pledging all kinds of support to us for SROs at the beginning of this whole thing, as long as we came up with some money.

"We came up the money and then they backed down on it. I really don't have a lot of faith in anything that they say."

Last year, the BOE approved $235,000 for a one-time expenditure to start an SRO program in cooperation with the Sheriff's Department. There are four deputies serving eight elementary schools this year; however, the funds have not been transferred to allow Sheriff Butch Burgess to replace those officers, leaving the department short-handed. The funds have been allocated, and the school's budget approved by the county, but the transfer could not take place without an interlocal agreement between the school system and the county.

That's been a sticking point as the two entities have been unable to agree on terms, such as liability and where funds are budgeted, either in the schools or the Sheriff's Department budget. Commissioners have also questioned using SSOs, School Safety Officers, who are school employees under the supervision of the school safety director, which in other counties have been hired at a lower cost than using School Resource Officers who are deputies employed by the Sheriff's Department. The commission and the board of education have both supported full-time officers of some type in all Cumberland County schools, as opposed to officers splitting their time between schools.

Director of Schools Donald Andrews has proposed a meeting between the county and school attorneys, Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Burgess and himself to work out the details of the interlocal agreement and move the process forward.

Thursday, members of the board reiterated their support of the SRO program.

"It's not just about security," said Richard Janeway, 2nd District representative. "It's about building relationships with children."

Janeway noted SROs could provide a link to information in circumstances where a child's parent was arrested the night before or the child was dealing with unfortunate circumstance the school might not be aware of. The SRO also helped to reinforce the idea that police were not the "bad guy," as some children might be taught to think.

"By building that relationship, those kids have a comfortable feeling that, if something is going on, they can talk to him," Janeway said. "It's not about having a security agency person out there who changes every three weeks. There is no relationship. There is no personal contact that goes on. Really, that's one of the key things about an SRO."

Last month, the board discussed the positive aspects of the SRO as being experienced officers, with Burgess pledging officers with at least five years' experience. The SROs attend specialized training to be certified SROs, as well as continuing education.

Brewer added the commissioner told her that, should the board not be interested in an SSO program, they would not pursue it further.

Bowman and Janeway noted the board had voted last month on the SSO vs. SRO issue, with all in favor of implementing a full-time SRO program in all schools.

Text Only
Area News
  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

  • Forgery charges net six months in jail

    A Crossville woman already on parole because of a felony theft conviction has pleaded guilty to two felony counts relating to forged checks and received a split sentence with six months to be serve in jail.

    July 24, 2014

  • Unfunded mandates a challenge for schools

    Director of Schools Donald Andrews has expressed local concerns regarding unfunded state mandates in education to Gov. Bill Haslam in an informal meeting between the governor and area administrators and teachers.

    July 24, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpg Vote early to avoid delays

    Cumberland County Election Administrator Suzanne Smith is encouraging Cumberland County voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which continues through Aug. 2 at the Election Commission Office at 2 S. Main St.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • state park boat dock.jpg Showcase of driving tours set today at Cumberland Mountain

    Discover the hidden gems of The Promised Land and Pie in the Sky Trails during the showcase 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, at Cumberland Mountain State Park. This special event is free and open to the public.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • waterfest2013.jpg Get on the water this weekend

    Volunteers from the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association offer basic instruction for kayakers at the 2013 Waterfest. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Meadow Park Lake from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, with food, exhibits, kids games, live music and water activities, with TSRA instructors offering rides on canoes, kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There will also be pontoon tours of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 p.m., offering a chance to look for wildlife. The University of Tennessee Concrete Canoe Team will be demonstrating their craft, as well, at 2:30 p.m.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • haslam 3.jpg Haslam makes stop in county

    Gov. Bill Haslam stopped by Cumberland County for breakfast Tuesday morning, encouraging everyone to get out and vote during the early voting period.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood shortage looming

    The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 22, 2014

  • Judge ponders why stolen silver wasn't recovered

    A Crossville area man who entered into a sentencing agreement relating to the theft of silverware that was later sold to a local jewelry shop found himself with an unlikely ally — the judge.

    July 22, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014