Friday, July 30, 1999
Fall will find police in the schools

Coweta Editor

When school opens Aug. 12, all of Coweta County's middle schools will be staffed with police officers.

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners have approved placing resource officers at the county's three middle schools.

The estimated $150,000 cost will be shared by the commission and the Coweta County Board of Education. The school system is slated to purchase the vehicles for the officers, while the county will pick up the tab for the officers' salaries.

Sheriff Mike Yeager estimated the cost of funding the three new officers at just over $150,000 a year, including salaries, benefits and equipment, along with a vehicle for each officer.

Adding three new officers would greatly improve the security at the schools, the sheriff added.

“This year we had a problem at East Coweta Middle School and the resource officer was at Madras Middle. That's a long way to drive,” he said.

The sheriff's department was able to send an officer to East Coweta Middle, but Yeager said the real solution is having an officer at each school.

The county currently shares the personnel costs of the one middle school resource officer with the Coweta County Board of Education.

The commissioners hailed the program as one that is truly necessary.

“Middle school is probably where a child is the most impressionable,” said Commissioner Robert Wood.

Commissioner Vernon “Mutt” Hunter said he had suggested funding the middle school resource officers a few years ago, but the proposal was dropped.

Hunter expressed satisfaction with the contract between the commission and the Board of Education and said it was time to add the officers to ensure the safety of the county's children.

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