The Dickson City Council will continue to provide nine school resource officers to cover the seven county schools located inside the city limits.
The council unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dickson County School System for the 2021-2022 school year at its meeting last week. The Dickson County School Board unanimously approved the MOU.
The Dickson Police Department will provide eight officers to serve as SROs and a ninth officer to be an SRO detective who floats among the schools and leads any investigations. There will be two SROs at Dickson County High School and one each at Dickson Middle School, Dickson Elementary School, Centennial Elementary School, Oakmont Elementary School, Sullivan Central Elementary School and The Discovery School.
According to the assignments tentatively announced by Dickson Police Department Chief Jeff Lewis, the SROs for 2021-2022 will be Sgt. Jessica Blackwell serving as SRO detective with officers Otis Gerron, J.D. Sumerour, Charlie Mullins, Daniel Lewis, Jamie Patterson, Larson Petty, Curtis Robertson and Thornton Vaughn.
When school is not in session, SROs return to assignments with the police department.
The City of Dickson will fund the salaries and benefits of all nine SROs. The school system will reimburse the city for salaries and benefits for 180 days of school and five days of training for five of the officers, which is $232,258.25 for 2021-2022.
The SRO detective position was added in 2020 for nine Dickson Police Department officers working full-time inside seven schools, four fully funded by the City of Dickson with reimbursement for five from the school system.
“We are committed to continuing the SRO program,” Lewis said. “Not only does it provide a law enforcement presence within the schools, but it also helps build a relationship and rapport between the students and officers that has proven to be exceptionally successful in diffusing several potentially dangerous situations.”