• Inter. Supt. responds to security concerns after DeKalb shooting incident

    By: Erica Byfield


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - In the wake of Tuesday's school shooting incident, there are a lot questions about school security and calls for more police at DeKalb County Schools.

    "Schools are not fortresses, they are not castles, so we have to look at the whole operation," said DeKalb Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

    Thurmond told Channel 2's Erica Byfield the district currently has 41 school resource officers, or SROs.

    There is an SRO assigned to each high school and middle school and none at the district's 77 elementary schools.

    Thurmond said officers respond to elementary schools as needed. Byfield checked and learned that is a common practice at most metro Atlanta school districts.

    Byfield also discovered budget cuts in recent years led to the dismissal of at least 15 DeKalb County SRO's.

    Thurmond told Byfield he understands the public's concern about no SROs at elementary schools and said the district does its best to stretch the budget as much as possible.

    "We have 77 elementary schools and you can do the math with a tight budget situation," said Thurmond.

    Thurmond added he and his staff will examine how the district responded to the armed intruder and will make any necessary policy changes.

    "We are going to make sure our process is as tight as possible to try to prevent this from ever happening again in DeKalb," Thurmond said.

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