Decatur County hires first Student Resource Officer
DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn — Students at Riverside High School now have a student resource officer. Penny Lindsey, a parent, said her sons rarely feel unsafe at school but a SRO eases her mind. “Knowing they have someone they, one, can go to if they feel threatened or, two, will take care of a situation if something does happen,” Lindsey said. Wednesday night the board of education voted to approve Robert Patterson as their new Student Resource Officer. “I just enjoy kids and I hate seeing kids go down the wrong path like they do today and I hope I can do something to make a difference,” Patterson said as he addressed the board. Patterson was an officer in Humboldt, then Brownsville before coming to Decatur County. He will be at Riverside High School starting Monday. “I feel really good about it. Just having that extra set of eyes for supervision but also an extra resource,” Principal Hugh Smith said. Smith said hiring is not in response to any incident but a proactive step that will ease parent’s minds. “If we maintain a safe and orderly work environment we can keep our focus on learning,” he said. Half of Patterson’s salary will be paid for by the county. The other half by a ‘Safe and Drug-Free School’ grant provided by the state. He will also be available to respond to incidents at any of Decatur County schools.