Thomas County school leaders looking to increase security measures in schools

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 17:34:45-04

THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WALB) - Thomas County school leaders are hoping to be proactive, ramping up security measures in the schools, amidst the numerous school shootings across the nation this year.

Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell addressed the Thomas County School Board of Education at a called meeting Tuesday night.

"Everything is different from day to day," said Powell.

Every day serving as a Student Resource Officer brings new challenges, new rewarding experiences, and new relationships formed with students.

Thomas County Corporal Darrell Colvin spends his days walking the halls at Thomas County Central High School.

"One of the biggest things I do on a daily basis is walk to exterior halls and make sure all the doors are locked," said Colvin.

Safety is his biggest concern.

"As they come to school I want them to feel safe," said Colvin.

Powell addressed the county school board about adding five additional school resource officers at the schools, making eight officers total.

"I think the days are long past when we can put people in less than the best shape as our school resource officers," said Powell.

The cost to the county schools would be $385,000 for nine months each year. The county commission would pay for the other 3 months salary and training, equipment, vehicles.

"I know that sounds like a lot of money but that's kind of the world we are in today," said Powell.

Security measures such as fencing around the campuses has also been talked about, specifically at the high school campus.

"Right now we are looking at an initial sketch (of fencing) around the high school and what it may look like," said Powell.

Driveways would be gated around the school and door security would be increased for areas unenforced such as entry doors at the Prep Academy, Hall C, Hall B, and the Media Center. 

All of these security enhancement plans and feasibility studies for additional resource officers are under review by the board of education, and will be talked about further as they plan the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.