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MMS adds resource officer
All middle, high schools in county now have SROs
School Cop
Midway Middle School Principal Debra Frazier, LSCO Chief Deputy Keith Moran, Cpl. Gary Richardson, Assistant Superintendent for Student Service Mary Alexander and Liberty County High School Resource Officer Donald Moody pose for a photo. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
After some planning and training, Midway Middle School finalized arrangements with the Liberty County Sheriff Office and installed its new school resource officer Jan.16 after a brief morning meeting.
MMS Principal Debra Frazier, LCSO chief deputy Keith Moran, assistant superintendent for student services Mary Alexander and Liberty County High School resource officer Donald Moody put the safety of the middle school in the hands of LCSO Cpl. Gary Richardson.
As a school resource officer, Richardson will help to enforce school rules and aide as an educator and counselor.
“One thing I want people to understand is that this is already a great school,” he said. “We are being proactive to ensure it stays that way.”
Moran and Alexander said the installation was a long time coming and was primarily held up as they worked out the funding.
“To give some background the school resource officer position was paid for by grants,” Alexander explained. “But the school was not built then and the funding has since ended.”
Richardson’s salary will be paid by the sheriff’s office and the Liberty County Board of Education. The bill is split down the middle.
“He will maintain all the job functions of a deputy but will be assigned and report to the school,” Moran said.
Richardson had to undergo training to familiarize himself with the school’s safety and emergency plan. He studied the administration’s policies and will work at the discretion of the school’s administration to keep the children, teachers and staff safe.
He maintains the authority to investigate and handle any criminal activity within the school’s property, including the proper search and seizure of unauthorized items brought into the schools by students.
According to Alexander, every middle school and high school in Liberty County now has an SRO to maintain safety and security.
Moran said these officers serve to enforce the law and are viewed as role model to the students.
Richardson may lead sessions regarding law enforcement and the judicial process, but will not be asked to assist the teachers in disciplining students in the classroom. That responsibility remains with teachers.
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