Kevin Guinn began his first day as school resource officer at the Greene Technology Center on Friday morning.
Guinn’s new role follows approval Thursday of funding for the position by the Joint Board of Education and Greeneville City Board of Education. The position was created through a cooperative effort between the Greeneville and Greene County school systems and Greeneville Police Department and Greene County Sheriff’s Department.
“A need was identified for a school resource officer at the Greene Technology Center, and people came together to make it happen,” said Greeneville City Schools Director Steve Starnes.
Rick Tipton, chairman of the Greene County school board, said representatives from both school districts and law enforcement met and worked together to add the SRO position at the Center for Technology. The school is operated as a joint venture between the school districts.
“It is exciting to see the county and city come together,” he said. “Everybody said ‘yes’ when asked to play a part.”
Greene County Schools Director David McLain said, “This is a great partnership, and everyone realized the importance for ensuring the safety of staff and students.”
Starnes thanked the school representatives involved as well as the SRO supervisors for both departments — Joe Prokop for the police department and Teddy Lawing for the sheriff’s department — as well as Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels, City Administrator Todd Smith and Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison for their assistance and support.
Funding for the position has been provided through a $35,000 state grant and an appropriation of funding that both school districts receive for SROs. The Greeneville Police Department has contributed $1,000 toward the position’s salary as well as provided training, a patrol car, uniform, weapons and other equipment.
The Greene County School System is contributing $7,500 toward the position from funds it provides the sheriff’s department for SROs.
At the Greeneville school board meeting Thursday, an appropriation of $6,500 from the Safe Schools Grant was approved for the position.
The Joint Board approved an amendment that, in part, reflected changes to the center’s budget involving the SRO position. That amendment also included the addition of federal grant funding the school has received for equipment and student certification testing.
The SRO funding arrangement covers the cost for the current year, and a meeting has been tentatively set for March of next year to discuss the SRO position for 2020-21 for the school. Starnes said the state grant funding that provided the majority of the funding will likely be available for the next school year, but that source may not continue into the future.