Preble County Sheriff’s Office to add SROs

State patrol troopers are following Springfield school buses this week to look for violators. Allyson Brown/Staff
Caption
State patrol troopers are following Springfield school buses this week to look for violators. Allyson Brown/Staff

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

This summer the Preble County Sheriff’s Office is working to hire school resource officers.

The SROs will be starting their new jobs at multiple school districts across the county starting this coming school year.

Preble County deputies already help with some of the policing in Camden, New Paris and West Alexandria, but soon they’ll be patrolling schools in those same communities full-time for the first time ever.

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“I think it’s a great idea,” said Lacey Cupp, a Preble Shawnee parent. “Add some more security; protect the kids.”

Cupp said she likes knowing her daughter’s school will have a resource officer in the fall.

“With all other school shootings and everything like that, I think it’ll take some stress off us parents,” she said.

The news of school shootings and violence across the United States is exactly what Sheriff Mike Simpson said is driving the move.

“In rural districts the response time for any incidents in a school can be minutes,” he said. “And five to six minutes, that shooting’s probably over. So I think any time we can put someone in the school to possibly deter or minimalize what’s going on in that  school with an armed law enforcement officer in there, a deputy sheriff in that building, it’s the right thing to do.”

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Four deputies will be re-assigned and trained as school resource officers.

One each will go to the Twin Valley South and National Trail School buildings in West Alexandria and New Paris.

Two will be assigned to Preble Shawnee schools to cover the district’s three buildings in Camden.

The sheriff’s office will hire four new deputies to replace the ones who become SROs.

The district will pay the SROs, but the sheriff’s office has applied for and received state grant money to help foot the bill.

“It helps recoup the salary of that deputy while they’re teaching at school,” said Simpson.

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On top of helping with security, they’ll teach drug resistance and decision-making classes.

“We want to make sure out deputies are interacting with students on a positive basis,” said Simpson.

During summer break, they’ll patrol the communities their schools are in, giving taxpayers year-round benefits.