Charter School Hires SRD - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Charter School Hires SRD

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As the nation addresses gun control in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, here at home, school safety remains a top priority. Now, a Bay County Charter Academy is taking the initiative to amp up security on its own.

As these North Bay Haven students roam the halls in their uniforms, there's now one more person in uniform, but he has a badge and a gun.

"We're very pleased to have him on this campus offering safety and security to keep what's on the outside from coming in and make sure that things on the inside remain safe," says Dr. Tim Kitts, CEO of Bay Haven Charter Academy.

The Bay Haven Board of Directors voted to hire a school resource deputy at both of it's campuses, a Lynn Haven Police Officer at Bay Haven and a Bay County Sheriff's Deputy at North Bay Haven. It is something this charter school is paying for out of pocket.

"Our budgets were very tight in the fall, and we have a little bit of savings that we were able to do these five month contracts through the end of the year. We will re-evaluate this in May to see if we can put it into next years budget," says Kitts.

With last months school massacre still fresh in everyone's minds, extra security on campus is welcomed by many.

"It makes me feel safe to know that we have someone around in a uniform," says Suzannah Thompson, a student at North Bay Haven. "I'm glad we've take action."

Even those who support the President's push for gun control, like North Bay Haven parent Tom Holdcraft, agree with a trained officer at school.

"I always felt that the campus here was safe, having to come through the office and the locked doors," says Holdcraft."But I think the presence of a uniformed officer calmed me down greatly."

The school is paying close to fifty thousand dollars total for the two officers for the five month contract.