The Talladega City Board of Education will match the remaining 25 percent of the salary, while the city of Talladega will provide all training and equipment including vehicles, according to a press release from City Manager Brian Muenger.
“This concept has been discussed for many years without action,” Muenger said. “I am pleased to see our pursuit of this funding come to fruition.”
The grant application calls for one SRO to be placed exclusively at Talladega High School, with the other serving at Zora Ellis Junior High School and the various elementary schools.
Interim Police Chief Jason Busby said, “SROs work on a triad concept: teacher, counselor and law enforcement officer. These officers will receive specific training in all of these areas. The goal of this SRO program will be to provide a safe learning environment in our schools, provide valuable resources to school staff, foster a positive relationship with our youth, and develop strategies to resolve problems affecting our youth with the goal of protecting every child so they can reach their fullest potential.”
The Department of Justice awarded $8.5 million in the COPS hiring program last fiscal year. Talladega is one of five SRO grantees in Alabama this year, and one of 144 which will receive a total of $44 million nationwide.
According to the COPS website, in February 2009 the agency was appropriated $1 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The COPS office received requests totaling more than $8 billion from more than 7,000 of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies. Five months later, COPS awarded the $1 billion to 1,046 law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire nearly 5,000 officers for three years in an effort to create and preserve jobs and to increase community policing and crime prevention