Deputies used to increase security at GCT - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Deputies used to increase security at GCT

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The GCT School district recently employed two new School Resource Officers through the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

Though the role of SRO is new for Sgt. Tony Harris, he's not unfamiliar with the GCT School Community.

"I actually have four children in this school district. I have a wife that teaches in this school district," Harris said.

Harris told Region 8 News that those who've been a part of getting the SRO Program into the schools are invested in it. Meaning ensuring school safety a community wide effort.

"We have all the resources we need at our fingertips," Harris said.

Their first week in, Sergeants Harris and Rick Mellow have been getting  accustomed to their new roles. They've been getting to know students through interacting with them in the halls and meeting with them in assemblies this week.

"The upper levels, they tend to shy away from you the first of the week," Harris explained. "The lower grades, they're great. They love to know we're there. We've had so many of them hug us, shake our hands, 'thank you for being here.'"

Each and every day, they'll be working to make sure the campus is safe and secure.

"We're making sure of course that the building is locked down and safe, making sure students are where they need to be...looking for anything out of the ordinary," he explained.

Sgt. Harris and Sgt. Mellow will travel between each of the district's campuses on a daily basis. However, their schedule will not be made public as to which school they'll be at and when.

High school student, Morgan Todd says having officers in the schools is reassuring.

"I don't think that he came here just to scare us. He's here to protect us. And if we put that in our minds that it makes things a little easier on us," Todd said.

Which, in turn, Harris hopes will make it easier for students to use these officers as another resource to talk with if they need to.

"This has been a long time coming here. I'm glad to be a part of it," Harris said.

Thursday night, the district held a community meeting for parents to voice their safety concerns. GCT School superintendent, Jerry Noble told parents that in the future, they hope to get more resource officers for their campuses.


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