Sheriff Hammond Says $4 Million Needed To Put SROs In All Hamilton County Schools

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sheriff Jim Hammond on Thursday night told members of the County School Board that $4 million is needed to provide School Resource Officers for all of the 79 schools.

He said currently there are 31 SROs in 29 schools, leaving 50 uncovered.

School Board member Rhonda Thurman said she believes the community could come together to provide the necessary funding. "It's something we've got to do," she said.

Ms. Thurman said it would require contributions from not only the city and county but the other municipalities.

During his comments, Sheriff Hammond offered suggestions to help improve school security and safety measures that could be implemented in the public schools that he said could help protect students from acts of violence.

He said, “After the most recent tragic and horrific events that occurred in Florida at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, our Nation, especially our law enforcement and educational systems, have once again been forced to re-evaluate the safety of our students and how we address violence in our public schools.

“There are many ideas that have been offered from every side of the political system. Nevertheless, I believe the main objective is clear – we must protect our children and harden our schools against violence.”

Sheriff Hammond stated that he believes first and foremost, every public school in Hamilton County should have a fully trained, P.O.S.T certified SRO assigned to each campus. He said the $4 million would be required in order to hire, train, and station enough additional SRO’s to cover the remaining schools in the Hamilton County System.

The sheriff said, “There are some critical decisions that are going to have to be made that could include additional resources and funding by local officials. These decisions may include hardening our local schools, retro-fitting existing schools with upgraded security and surveillance measures, and considering every option on the table.

"Other possibilities to consider include hiring more SRO’s, training students and teachers in safety protocols, hiring private security or military veterans, or the possibility of arming qualified teachers.”

He said whatever decisions are made, it could take weeks and even months to implement the required changes.

In conclusion, the sheriff noted the problems the country is facing as a Nation pertaining to school violence do not stem from a “gun problem” as so many people are now trying to conclude..He said, " What is causing violence in our schools is a People Problem.'

“In order to deal with the problem of school violence that is affecting our nation, we must look at the source… whether that be mental illness, foreign or domestic terrorism, a lack of parenting, or a lack of spiritual and/or moral guidance.”As your sheriff, I am here tonight to say it is imperative that we work together, as long as it takes, to find the best way forward in order to protect our community’s greatest assets, our children.“

One speaker called for the need for full security at the schools, while a student group and activist Franklin McCallie said arming teachers is not a good idea.



Seattle Firm Wants To Start Rehab Of Affordable West Side Apartments Early Next Year

An official of a Seattle firm that specializes in buying and rehabbing housing for low income families said it wants to start work on $8 million in improvements to the Ridgeway Apartments by early next year. First, Vitus is seeking a PILOT tax abatement from both the city and county. The abatement sought is payment of the current annual taxes of $50,110 for 10 years, plus ... (click for more)

City Transportation Director Says He Is Okay With Whatever Council Decides On Electric Scooters

City Transportation Director Blythe Bailey said he is comfortable with any way the City Council decides to go on allowing electric scooters. He said an Internet search does turn up many problems tossing a fleet of the scooters onto a city's streets can cause. On the other hand, he said they provide an additional transportation option. Mr. Bailey said he believes that many ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 2018 Ig Nobel Awards

The word ‘ignobel’ is rarely used because only a few among us know that it means "characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness." About 30 years ago, a glorious group of great scholars took a literary hatchet to form the word into ‘ig nobel’ so it could be placed in the dictionary as a term that means “a satirical social criticism that identifies absurd research.” Think of ... (click for more)

Henderson Saves The Day For Soddy Daisy Volleyball

The high school volleyball match at Soddy Daisy Monday night between the host Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans and the Chattanooga Christian Lady Chargers was not a district match and has no bearing whatsoever on regular-season standings, but it was one that CCS coach Sarah Stutheit wanted to win in a big, big way. Her Lady Chargers made an incredible comeback after losing the first ... (click for more)

Covenant's Lemay Named Defensive Player Of The Week

Covenant men's soccer junior goalkeeper Paul Lemay was named the USA South Defensive Player of the Week, for the period ending on Sept. 16, announced the league on Monday. The honor is the first of Lemay's career. The junior from Apopka, Fla., played all 270 minutes at the net for the Scots and helped the team to a 2-1 week, with both wins coming against conference opponents. ... (click for more)