Oconee Co. looks to add officers to all elementary schools - FOX Carolina 21

Oconee Co. looks to add officers to all elementary schools

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Sheriff Rick Crenshaw discusses SRO's at each elementary school with FOX Carolina's Andrew Reeser (FOX Carolina) Sheriff Rick Crenshaw discusses SRO's at each elementary school with FOX Carolina's Andrew Reeser (FOX Carolina)
The Oconee Co. School Board may approve funding for two new SRO's next week (FOX Carolina) The Oconee Co. School Board may approve funding for two new SRO's next week (FOX Carolina)
WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two weeks after the Townville Elementary School shooting, residents in neighboring Oconee Co. said they are on edge, and would like to see more law enforcement presence at local elementary schools.

"All of our schools need to be strengthened," said Andrea Toussaint, the author of a petition now floating around to increase taxes to pay for more school resource officers at all elementary schools in the county. Currently, only one officer serves the ten elementary schools in the area.

Next week, the Oconee Co. School Board is expected to approve funding for two additional officers. While it is a start, parents said it's not enough.

It is an idea that Oconee Co. Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said he has advocated for some time, and he's fully supportive of parents' efforts to get more SRO's on district staff.

"Having that physical presence of a deputy sheriff as well as a patrol car on the grounds of an elementary school serves as a [crime] deterrent in many ways," said Crenshaw, who also hopes a deputy at each school will allow children to develop close relationships with officers at a young age.

The sheriff said taxes locally would need to be raised by $4.40 per $100,000 home, and vehicle taxes would go up by $2.25 to be able to pay for SRO's at each elementary school.

Oconee Co. Councilmembers say they understand the need and may support a tax increase, but they aim to be careful about how much money is allocated.

The petition can be viewed and signed in Seneca at the Toussaint Law Firm, Seneca Family Restaurant, and Tots and Teens. Walhalla residents can view and sign the petition at Palmetto Sweets, 3 Amigos and Palmetto Fade. In Westminster, the petition is available at the Feed and Seed.

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