Kentucky law requires districts to have school resource officer

In Kentucky, state law now requires districts to have a School Resource Officer on campus. Carlisle County district has had an SRO for the past two years.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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CARLISLE COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - In Kentucky, state law now requires districts to have a school resource officer on campus.

Carlisle County added a school resource officer two years ago. The district’s Director of Pupil Personnel, Dustin Roberts said for him keeping students safe is personal.

“Through my employment at Heath High School during the time of the shooting, school safety became a passion to me,” Roberts said. He still remembers that deadly day in West Paducah nearly 25 years ago when Michael Carneal opened fire on his classmates at Heath High School. Three students were killed and five others were injured in the the December 1, 1997 mass shooting.

“I take it very seriously every day when I come to work,” he said.

Roberts is now focused on the safety of his students here in Carlisle County.

The region’s most recent deadly school shooting in 2018 led to more safety measures here.

“Our sheriff’s office has been very involved in our campus since the shooting occurred in Marshall County,” Roberts said.

“I think it’s important for every school campus, if possible, to have an SRO,” Chris Poe said.

Poe serves as Carlisle County’s School Resource Officer (SRO). His goal is giving students the ability to go about their day without fear.

“They feel more safe, more secure, coming to school without...they have a little bit more confidence about someone not coming in here and hurting them in some way,” Poe said.

Carlisle County also uses frequent active shooter drills, so students know what to expect.

“It makes us students here feel safer, especially with a lot that had been going on in the past,” student Kelsey Mantle said.

Dustin Roberts said he and his best friend still check up on each other on the anniversary of the school shooting they experienced. He said nothing can fully prevent a tragedy like that from happening again but having an armed officer in the building makes them more prepared.

“We can’t be complacent,” Roberts said. “We can be more comfortable, but we can’t be complacent.”