Seven more join SRO ranks

All 16 county school campuses now have resource officer
Mar. 28, 2014 @ 11:05 PM

Seven men and women joined Lee County’s law enforcement ranks as the newest School Resource Officers on Friday.

The inductees were joined by their family members and friends, community leaders and members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in the historic county courthouse Friday for the swearing-in ceremony.

“Their No. 1 priority will be to protect our schools,” said Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter. “During the summer or when the students are out of school, they will be out patrolling — but their No. 1 priority will be the schools.”

This brings the number of deputies under the SRO Program to 16 — or one for each of the Lee County School campuses. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office took control of the program last fall after a local bill was passed at the state level at the behest of the Lee County Board of Commissioners.“I didn’t think we’d be able to do this this year, but I am pleased with what we have been able to do,” Carter said.

Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks said he was glad to see the support from the community and the large turnout for the swearing-in ceremony.

“The SRO Program has been a good program, and teachers and students have told me they feel more secure,” he said. “We expect to see great things from the sheriff’s office.”

The safety of school system’s students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance, said Lee County Schools Superintendent Andy Bryan, adding that he was pleased with the partnership between the sheriff’s office and the schools.

“This enhances the safety of our schools even more,” he said.

Carter said the seven individuals sworn in all completed the necessary training, orientation and paperwork needed for the positions.

“I am pleased the county pushed this forward,” he said. “It’s money well spent to keep our children safe.”

The School Resource Officers sworn in were: Joshua Bryant, Rickita Mays, Coy Poole, Carroll Rickard, Kelly Seagroves, Megan Turnmire and Yanira Vanegas.

Charles Jordan also was sworn in to fill a part-time animal control position.