GORDO, Ala. (WIAT) — The Pickens County school system is taking steps to protect students, teachers and staff from danger. Now every school has a school resource officer.

Mark Capps says it’s something he’s wanted for a long time and is glad it’s now a reality. Capps is the Principal of Gordo High School.

“It is really a good program for all of us at Gordo High School for our students and the comfort of having an SRO at the school because anything can happen these days,” Capps said. “To have somebody all our students know and all our parents know in Gordo is a blessing.”

Capps says the SRO program got underway three weeks ago after the school system got funding. Pickens County Sheriff Todd Hall says he hired four new deputies who are serving as new school resource officers.

Jonathan Pate is a teacher at Gordo High and is also a parent of two children who attend the school. Pate says knowing an SRO is on campus makes him feel better about his kid’s safety if an emergency happens.

“Obviously as a parent, it’s a great opportunity for our school system,” Pate said. “In the world we live in today you don’t what’s going to happen from day to day but with an officer here on campus, you have the opportunity to de-escalate the event to get help as quickly as possible.”

The school resource officers are stationed at Gordo, Reform and Aliceville schools and the career center. The SRO program is being funded by grant money given to the Pickens County Board of Education.