Bishop calls for state to fund resource officers

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 2/21/18

Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop called Tuesday for the state to fund a school resource officer at every school and take better care of mental treatment, adding that those who have mental problems should not be allowed to own a gun.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Bishop calls for state to fund resource officers

Posted

Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop called Tuesday for the state to fund a school resource officer at every school and take better care of mental treatment, adding that those who have mental problems should not be allowed to own a gun.

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, during the closing comments section by commissioners, Bishop commented in the wake of the Florida school shooting on Valentine’s Day, which killed 17 people. Local school and law enforcement have been in discussions on how to increase security on their campuses.

Bishop said he was contacted by the Daily Mountain Eagle the day before to comment on the situation, calling it sad.

“I want to personally say this today ... I think the state should kick in their money out of their education fund for all the counties so they can pay for security so we don’t have 17 kids get shot anymore.” 

He also said the state needed to take better care of students who need mental treatment. “You can’t let people who have a mental problem have a gun,” he said.

Media reports suggest the alleged shooter involved in the killings showed signs of mental illness over the signs and may have had been in and out of mental treatment facilities. CNN reported the gunman owned 10 rifles. An AR-15 semi-automatic style weapon was used during the massacre, allegedly purchased a year ago by the suspect, according to USA TODAY.

Bishop said he prays for the families of the victims in Florida, adding he wished he could do something to help them all.

“But our leaders have to get involved, from this county all the way up to Washington, D.C., and solve the problem, and not blame each other for the problem,” he said. “That’s all that is on TV: ‘Well, they should have had this’ or “They should have had that.’ I’m not going to get into their communications, but let us all pray for those families and let’s work our school systems and our sheriff and our police departments. They are already trying; I’ve read the article. We want to do something to as a county.” 

Bishop said he plans to email legislators to get some money from the state “so we can fund the officers to be full-time, at least one at every school.

“Maybe that is not part of my job, but that is the way I feel about it — and that’s what the discussion is all about,” he said.

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burroughs remembered the victims of the Florida shooting in his opening prayer for the meeting.

In his comments at the end of the meeting, he said, “It’s just awful,” noting he hated that something has to happen before people can be proactive on the situation. “As a commission, I think we’ve got to do what we can do to protect these schools. That’s just my thoughts, but everyone has those thoughts,” he said.