BURKE CO., Ga. (WJBF) – Next week 14 counties in the area head back to school, and in Burke County leaders will be increasing security this year.
“Given the events going on across the nation with everything that’s going on with schools, we partnered with the board of education previously and they were gracious enough to provide us with two additional spots where we could hire two additional deputies,” said Major Chad Plueger of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
Those two additional deputies from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office mean that every school in the county will now have a full time school resource officer.
“It’s going to be one per school and the high school would be able to actually have two staff there and one of those would be the supervisor, but he would be able to leave since there’s one present and travel to the other schools as needed,” Major Plueger said.
Before this change, the SRO supervisor would spend the day floating between schools that did not have a full time officer. Major Chad Plueger says the sheriff’s office and board of education feel adding additional deputies is a necessary change.
“It’s a safe learning environment for the children within the county. And for parents picking their kids up, children riding the busses home, just so we could have that safety presence available,” Major Plueger said.
The Burke County School System says in part, “With the additional SRO’s in our schools, students get to know and trust law enforcement. If their initial experience with a police officer is positive, that’s something that can stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
“We want the children to realize we’re here for them, we’re here to keep them safe. We don’t want them to fear us. We just want them to know that anytime they’re in need or they’re in trouble they can come to us,” Major Plueger said.