Yancey County Schools has received a $22,917 grant to hire a School-Resource Officer (SRO) at Cane River Middle School. The grant is expected to be recurring for at least two years. Using these funds, Yancey County Schools elected to hire Rick Turner, an experienced police officer who once worked for the Burnsville Police Department.
Spending approximately 90% of his time at Cane River Middle School, the SRO will also provide coverage at Bald Creek, Bee Log and Clearmont Elementary schools. Yancey County Schools currently has two other SROs, one stationed at Mountain Heritage and another stationed at East Yancey Middle School
Yancey County Schools’s new SRO will be stationed visibly before and during school as well as during extra curricular activities. He will provide both law enforcement and preventative functions. The SRO will be the enforcement authority in crime-related and/or crisis intervention situations.
In addition to also leading classroom discussions on drug and violence prevention, the SRO will co-direct drills as needed. He is a part of targeted students’ care teams and a key referral source for behavioral or mental health services at the assigned schools. As with all SRO’s, the new hire will be present during school hours, but also is on call for emergencies 24-hours a day.
“Since the shootings at Sandy Hook, Yancey County Schools has made considerable progress in our goal to better protect our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton. “This grant comes at a perfect time as it affords each of the schools in Yancey County special police coverage.”
The grant funding is provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. A one-third local match was required.