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School security made a high priority

Officers at MCE
Johnson County Sheriff Office deputies Adam Worley and Robert Gwinn at Mountain City Elementary School. Photo courtesy of the Johnson County Sheriff Office

Once again due to the issue of school safety at the forefront of not only the news but the minds of students, parents and staff, Sheriff Mike Reece will begin this week utilizing all resources possible to help protect our elementary schools with extra security.
Beginning Monday, March 19, 2018, Sheriff Mike Reece will be rotating an officer atthe elementary schools at random times for the remainder of the year. The officer will spend an allotted time at each school throughout the day. The sheriff will be using off duty officers during school hours to provide the extra security. Off duty officers will sign up for the extra shifts and will be paid at their overtime rate. However, this should not interfere with the budgeted amount in the officers salary line item, as there were times this year that the department was short on officer staff. So with the remainder time left of the school year, they should not go into overages in salaries. The sheriff also has reserve deputies who have offered to volunteer their time to sign up for some of the shifts in which there would be at no extra cost at all. Our School Resource Officer will continue to stay at the high school and middle school.Without the funding for now, the sheriff feels this is the best thing that he can do to help as this time.

Hopefully before the start of the next school year, there will be funding available to provide additional officers for the schools. Until then, we will make a presence known at each school so that the students, parents and staff can be assured that we do care and we want them all to feel safe and secure with no worries of simply just going to school.
— Press release from JCSO