Earlier this month, officers from the Athens Police Department (APD) reported for duty at campuses across the Athens Independent School District (Athens ISD) for the first time. Due to a recent agreement between the City of Athens and Athens ISD, the APD has taken over law enforcement responsibility on all AISD campuses as part of a School Resource Officer (SRO) program.
The City and Athens ISD crafted an agreement whereby the City would provide law enforcement services on all district properties and would provide four (4) School Resource Officers to meet the District’s needs. Currently three (3) of the four (4) police officers have been placed.
Pictured above are the new SROs. From left, Sergeant Dana Dykes who is stationed at Athens Middle School, Officer Melissa Goss who is stationed at Central Athens Elementary School, and Corporal Dustin Cook who is stationed at Athens High School. Part of the officers’ duties include patrolling the other elementary school campuses on a daily basis.
On a day to day basis, the SROs’ main priority will be to focus on campus security. “We will do whatever it takes to ensure that students and faculty feel safe and secure throughout each school day and that all school activities run smoothly,” said Sergeant Dykes. Officers will get the chance to interact with the children throughout the day while patrolling the entire campus property to ensure that maximum security measures are being met.
“Having a healthy relationship between Athens ISD and the Athens Police Department makes good sense on a lot of levels. The safety of children in our care is a top priority, as is making sound economic decisions. We accomplish both through our partnership with APD,” said Athens ISD Superintendent Blake Stiles. “Our students responded very positively to the new officers in the district, and we expect nothing but continued success.”
Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill added, “we are excited to get this program started. We are looking forward to an effective partnership with the school district.”
For more information on the SRO program or job openings within the Athens Police Department, call City Hall at 903.675.5131 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.