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Sheriff working to put resources in middle schools

By By MICHELE GERLACH-Publisher
Sheriff Grover Smith is raising money this week to put resource officers in the county's middle schools.
So far, he's done well.
Monday, the Escambia County Commission agreed to provide $30,000, the funds needed to cover the salary and benefits of one resource officer. Thursday afternoon, he plans to ask the Escambia County Board of Education for the same contribution.
Smith is working to secure $10,000 each from three private trusts to fund a third officer.
Smith said the officers will be placed primarily at W.S. Neal Middle School, Escambia County Middle School in Atmore, and Flomaton Middle School. Additionally, the officers will rotate visiting middle school classes at McCall and Huxford schools.
Smith also plans to implement the D.A.R.E. (Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education) program in the fifth grades of each school.
Smith said that the officers will focus on middle schools, but also will be available to work in other schools.
In other business Monday, the Commission: