Resource officers being added to each high school in Wayne County

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WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - There will be an added level of security at high schools in Wayne County, West Virginia during the upcoming school year.

The Wayne County School system approved adding school resource officers to the high schools in the county for the upcoming school year.

The three officers will be coming from the Wayne County Sheriff's office. Superintendent Todd Alexander says they will also be working with the other schools in the county.

The school district has been without resource officers for several years. However, Alexander says while looking at the safety protocols in place, they felt the officers were needed.

Alexander says the main reason for adding the officers is for student safety.

"We want to make sure we have somebody in each area to be able to respond in case we have threats or anything like that. They would be able to respond immediately," Alexander said.

He says another big reason for adding them is to help with response times across the county.

"Response times in certain parts of the county are over 30 minutes," Alexander said. "So when you look at news across the nation, we just thought an officer for every area of the county would be something that should be a primary consideration."

Alexander says the officers will be able to build positive relationships with students and will also be a benefit to the community as well.

"For example, if we have a resource officer down at Tolsia High School and there is a significant event in the Tolsia community, there's already an officer there."

Ashley Ross is the mother of a Wayne High School senior. She says she worries about her children's safety each day, but that she now has a sense of peace knowing there will be officers at the schools.

"My daughter drives my son to school every morning," Ross said. "You tell them you love them before they go out just in case something was to happen, they know. It's nice to finally get a little bit of a breath of fresh air knowing that they are there."

The resource officers will cost about $150,000. Alexander says that cost will be covered by both the school board and the county commission.

He says the officers will be at the schools throughout each school day, starting on the first day of school in August.

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