Taylorville approves first-ever School Resource Officer
Monday night, the vote came in as Taylorville aldermen voted 6-2 for the city’s funding for first-ever School Resource Officer.
This comes as many across the nation are still mourning two school shootings from just last week.
Monday was also the Taylorville School District’s last day of school.
The vote came in about an hour and forty-five minutes into the meeting.
"I feel elated that the aldermen did what was right,” Mayor Bruce Barry said.
He said a school resource officer is needed now more than ever.
Last week, ten were killed in a Texas school shooting. In Dixon, Illinois, countless staff and students were saved because of one brave SRO that charged at a former student who started firing in the school.
“The timing couldn't have been worse or better for deciding a school resource officer,” Mayor Barry said. I hate to see anything happen. The one in Dixon happened at the school where the school resource officer was [there], and he was able to protect them."
Some Taylorville students said they hope the new officer will create a connection with them and keep them safe.
"If the shooter gets in one of the classrooms or the school,” one Taylorville Community Unit School student, Corrina Orr, said. “The cop will be there to protect us."
Corrina said she fears for herself, others and their loved ones.
"Some kids get shot and they die,” she said. “And it's really sad when the moms and dads cry and the sisters and brothers."
Her dad, Corrandan Orr, said the thwarted Dixon shooting serves as proof that "it could happen at any town."
Corrandan said an SRO could help bring safety and peace of mind.
“Just wondering how my kids are doing when they're in school,” he said. “And how everyone else’s kids are doing."
The city will pay the SRO’s salary and then get partially reimbursed by the district for the school year time.
"I don't know if we would be able to afford more officers,” Mayor Barry said. “We're hoping the school resource officer would be able to stop anything like this before it even gets to a point of a student bringing a gun to school."
Taylorville could see an officer in their Junior High and High school as early as next school year.