Oakman to hire school resource officer

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OAKMAN — Schools in Oakman will soon be safer for the community's children.

Oakman Mayor Cory Franks told the Daily Mountain Eagle last week that the town is looking to hire an APOST (Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training) certified officer to serve as a part-time school resource officer (SRO). The officer would monitor the campuses of Oakman High and Oakman Middle schools.

"We want to have a part-time school resource officer, due to the rise in school-related incidents, and I feel like we need to focus more on the safety of our kids," Franks said. "That's one of the main things we want to try to do this year."

Oakman Middle School Principal Chris Walton said he knows firsthand the benefits of a school resource officer. When he was principal at Parrish Elementary School, one was assigned to the school.

"It will put the kids at ease. It will put the parents at ease, just knowing that somebody is here that's trained to deal with situations. I think it's great," Walton said, adding his appreciation to the town for wanting to hire a SRO. "I think they're making the effort to show that they're invested in the safety of our kids, and it takes all of us."

Patrick Gann, Oakman High School's principal, said having a school resource officer will also enhance safety during sporting events and other school functions.

"Just having another presence around here, walking the halls, will mean a lot," Gann said.

SRO applicants should contact Oakman Town Hall at (205) 622-3232. Candidates will interview with Oakman Police Chief Ken Marbury to be considered for the position.