The Macon County Sheriff’s Department is one School Resource Officer away from completing the goal to have an officer at every school site in the district. Tuesday night, commissioners gave the sheriff the go ahead to accept a grant to place an SRO at Nantahala School, which means all but one school in the district has a full-time officer. This will allow the use of money previously allocated for Nantahala’s officer to go towards Iotla Valley Elementary’s SRO.
Sheriff Holland was made aware of the grant while working with his colleagues from across the state on the Governor’s Safe Schools task force. “As soon as I found out about the grant, I literally walked out of my meeting and called [Superintendent] Dr. Baldwin and we started to get to work on it,” said Holland.
The grant provides the district with 75 percent of the funds ($39,722) needed for the position, leaving the county needing to match the remaining 25 percent ($18,185). Sheriff Holland assured commissioners that he had been working with County Manager Derek Roland to find funds available within the existing budget so the county would not need to appropriate any additional funds for the position.