WEAKLEY COUNTY, TN — The Weakley County, Tennessee, school district will soon have a school resource officer in all 10 of its schools after the county approved funding.
Jason Arant is the school district's longest serving SRO with nine years of experience under his belt at Westview High School. He says the job has changed a lot in recent years.
"The focus on the security for the safety of the children and the staff. Obviously, across the nation we're dealing with active shooters, just intruders coming in wanting to do harm, and also with the kids themselves," said Arant. "I think they're starting to deal more with mental crisis, and we're just that one component in that team of services that are available for the kids."
Weakley County has been working to put SROs in their hallways for years. The recent shooting at Marshall County High School motivated the county to improve the safety for their students. Tara Beauchamp is just starting as the newest SRO. She started at Dresden Elementary and Dresden Middle four days ago. She says having a presence in the halls is key.
"You've got to be visible to show the kids that you're out there watching, that you are paying attention to everything that's going on and you're going to do everything you can to catch the necessary measures," said Beauchamp.
Students are already noticing a change with SROs in the building.
"Just knowing you're safe — you can learn safely in the classroom, just knowing that she's here patrolling the hallways," said Dresden Middle School student Tanner Thomas.
One SRO opening is still left at Dresden High School. The position is currently being covered by the Weakley County Sheriff's Department.