HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – There’s a new school resource officer in town, and the students and staff in the Spring Hill school district are excited to have a new layer of protection on school grounds.
Officer Matthew Dunham is the first school resource officer (SRO) for the district. He said he makes it a priority to patrol the halls and classrooms for safety.
Superintendent Carroll Purtle said Officer Dunham is more than just an SRO. He’s there to establish relationships and create a more comfortable environment.
“We’re just in the formulating parts of this. So he formulates a relationship with them so they feel safe. They can talk to him about anything whether it’s bullying issues. Whether it’s so and so is having a drug problem. Maybe we need to intervene.”
This school district has about 600 children from elementary to high school. Having an extra eye makes the students and parents feel comfortable knowing there’s someone at the school to protect their kids.
“This day and time you really need officers at every school. You never know when anything could arise. I’m hoping it’s just a breath of relief for the parents and everybody and all the kids here.”
Spring Hill school officials said they’re simply increasing security from the classrooms to the hallways for the safety of all.
In the meantime, Purtle says Officer Dunham will continue with SRO training and start working on evacuation drills and policies.