BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The Governor’s office says that a program, allowing administrators of schools without a school resource officers to have a weapon to defend themselves and their students, is now active throughout the state of Alabama.
The Sentry program was announced last year, after two deadly school shootings in Florida and Texas. For safety reasons, the state isn’t releasing many details about the program.
"Those school administrators who choose to be a part of the Alabama Sentry Program will be trained by the SAFE Council’s created school safety training compliance team,” Governor Kay Ivey said last year.
Alabama has increased the number of SROs in schools this year, according to the National Association of School Resource Officers an organization based in Hoover that has been training SRO’s for 30 years.
"We’ve trained many more in the state of Alabama and I really want to compliment the state on how progressive they are in terms of encouraging districts to have SRO’s and also really pushing for careful selection of those officers,” Mo Canady, Executive Director of NASRO said.
Instead of armed administrators in schools, Canady would like to see SRO’s. Canady says if schools don’t have the money for SRO’s, there’s grant money available through the Department of Justice COPS office.
"Those grants are three-year grants that will fund an SRO for up to three years, so that’s certainly a way to pursue funding,” Canady said.
Some school districts that were considering the sentry program last year say this year they now have funding for SRO’s. The governor’s office says more schools around the state are adding SRO’s which is good news for student safety.