TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuscaloosa Police are speaking out about the importance of school safety following a shooting that killed six at a Nashville school Monday.
Assistant Police Chief Sebo Sanders tells CBS 42 his officers train regularly for active shooter situations so they can be ready if the real thing ever happens.
“Every incident we try to learn from it. The Tuscaloosa City Schools and the police department are always one step ahead of any incident,” Sanders said. “We prepare so we are ready for whatever may happen. We hope that nothing happens, but in these incidents, we are prepared and trained on a monthly basis.”
Sanders says there are 20 school resource officers that provide security at every Tuscaloosa City school. According to the assistant chief, having an SRO at every school building is a valuable tool to help officers keep students and teachers safe.
“School resource officers are very valuable in the city schools in Tuscaloosa, and we want to make sure all the kids are safe along with the teachers, so the SRO plays a big part in school security plus the safety of the city,” Sanders said.
Tuscaloosa County Schools has SROs but not for every school. In February, a proposed property tax increase vote failed. Part of the funding would have been used to fund additional SROs for the county schools, which currently employ 11.
Sanders tells CBS 42 that having school resource officers can save lives.
“That means a lot, parents want to make sure their kids are safe at school,” he said. “It feels good we’ve got all the schools covered in the city of Tuscaloosa.”
CBS 42 reached out to Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria and County Schools Superintendent Keri Johnson but both were unavailable to comment.