Alabaster BOE will help fund officers in schools

The Alabaster Board of Education will help fund police officers at each of the city's schools during the upcoming fiscal year. (File)

The Alabaster Board of Education will help fund police officers at each of the city’s schools during the upcoming fiscal year. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Police officers will again be stationed at every Alabaster school campus for the upcoming school year after the Alabaster Board of Education agreed to fund half of the officers during a June 17 meeting.

During the meeting, which was held at the Alabaster Senior Center, School Board members voted unanimously to pay $180,000 per year to fund half of the six police officers who will be posted at the city’s six school campuses.

Over the past several months, the city of Alabaster has fully funded the six officers at a cost of about $220,000, according to City Manager George Henry.

Two school resource officers have been stationed at Thompson High School and one officer has been stationed at Thompson Middle School for the past several years. The Alabaster City Council voted in early 2013 to fund three additional officers – one at Meadow View Elementary, one at Creek View Elementary and one at the Thompson Intermediate-Thompson Sixth Grade Center campus.

“We talked to the School Board members and said ‘If we keep funding the three we already had, would you be willing to fund the three we added?’” City Council President Scott Brakefield said during a June 17 interview.

“We felt like that was money well-spent in our schools,” Alabaster Interim Superintendent Kari Johnson said during the meeting.

Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said the officers who will be stationed at the city’s schools during the upcoming school year have already received the proper training.

“I think the SRO program is a fantastic program. It’s been in place in our community for quite some time,” Rigney said. “We look forward to partnering with the BOE on that program.

The Shelby County Commission and the Shelby County Board of Education also are working to fund officers in the county’s schools. Alabaster will finalize its split from the Shelby County School system on July 1.