Harlan County School Board Approve SRO Contract

Published 4:24 pm Monday, April 4, 2022

The Harlan County School Board held their regular meeting recently, discussing several matters including approving a contract with the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office for an SRO (School Resource Officer).

Superintendent Brent Roark advised the board that Harlan County Sheriff Leslie “Smitty” Smith was available to update them on the specifics of the agreement.

“We’ve had a contract with the Sheriff’s Office for as long as I’ve been here,” Roark said. “Every spring in March or April, we come back and redo the contract, because it’s an annual contract.”

Roark then turned the floor over to Smith.

“I appreciate you all letting me spend a couple minutes with you,” Smith said. “We’ve been doing this since I’ve been (sheriff), and we’ve had a great working relationship.”

Smith mentioned the SRO’s, who have worked at Harlan County High School, have worked well with the school administration.

“This relationship has been a win/win for everyone involved,” Smith said. “It’s been a win/win certainly for us, and of course the most important part is providing security for the staff and students.”

According to Smith, the Sheriff’s Office has added working with the district’s elementary schools in recent years.

Roark verified the Elementary schools have been utilizing SRO’s for approximately four years.

“Our goal is certainly to be a deterrent for anybody who would have ill will toward any of our schools,” Smith said. “For me, this has been the most positive thing that we get to be a part of…99 percent of it’s always positive.”

Smith pointed out a lot of thought goes into choosing the SROs for the high school. Smith advised the board his office is always open to any questions the school staff and administration may have.

“This contract would finish out this year and carry through until this time next year,” Smith said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve you.”

Roark recommended the board approve the contract for SROs with the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office.

Following some discussion, the board approved the contract with no objections.

In other Harlan County School Board activity:

• A motion to purchase two Ford Escape vehicles for home visits was approved;

• A contract with United Mine Workers was extended;

• The board approved the surplus of 23 school buses and approved advertising for bids to sell each individually.