Decatur Co. Sheriff scrounging to get more officers in schools - WSMV News 4

Decatur Co. Sheriff scrounging to get more officers in schools

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Gov. Bill Haslam talked about a new task force designed to come up with ways to keep Tennessee schools safe on Thursday. 

"I mean, one of the things you want to do is control entryways to schools so we can funnel the folks coming into school," Haslam said.  

State lawmakers are also considering a few bills aimed at keeping kids safe at school -- one would use state funds to get more officers in schools, another proposes to arm teachers. 

Some local law enforcement leaders say they don't want to wait and see what the lawmakers decide -- they want action now.

Recently, we told you about Perry Co. Sheriff Nick Weems, who is raising money to buy intruder defense systems for classrooms in his county. 

"We're getting no help from our national leaders and its just time to act," Weems told News4. "I'm tired of the people talking and I'm not going to talk anymore. This is not something where I am prepared to wait for a grant. We need to fix it now."

Now, Decatur Co. Sheriff Keith Byrd is following suit. 

"If you wait on lawmakers and/or the court system, you may be waiting a long time," Byrd said. 

Right now, Sheriff Byrd is scrounging up all the money and resources he can to put a resource officer in every school, which, with a small budget and only a few officers on staff, hasn't been easy. 

"It hasn't been a struggle, it's been a nightmare," Byrd said. 

Byrd is now looking for school security grants because, after the deadly school shooting in Florida, he said making changes is not an option. 

"It's sad that we live in times that you've got to have a policeman at the school," Byrd said. "But it is what it is, and we have to do the best we can with it."

But that's not all. In addition to adding new officers, Byrd says he's arranged for his deputies to participate in active-shooter training with the US Marshal's Office while students are on spring break.

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