MARCH 2, 2018

SHERIFF BERRONG’S STATEMENT REGARDING KEEPING
OUR CHILDREN SAFE

MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong would like to assure citizens that he is committed to keeping our school children safe by whatever means necessary.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office maintains an excellent rapport with Blount County Schools. For many years, the Sheriff’s Office and the School Department have shared a memorandum of understanding that provides SROs to our county schools. We started out with an SRO in each of the county’s two high schools in the mid 1990s, and over the years the Sheriff’s Office has added additional SROs. With the support of the Blount County Mayor’s Office and the County Commission, we are now able to staff an SRO at each of the 21 schools in the county. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office is preparing to add one additional SRO at Heritage and William Blount high schools next month. The BCSO was one of the first counties in Tennessee to start an SRO program in 1996.

Sheriff Berrong is continuing to work with Blount County Schools Director Rob Britt regarding upcoming training for Blount County Schools’ teachers and staff. This training is planned for July, and will include instruction in active shooter situations, as well as assistance to schools with ways to better secure their facilities to prevent an intruder from entering a campus. In addition, Blount County’s SROs, as well as all certified deputies receive ongoing active shooter training. Several Blount County deputies are also trained to instruct and facilitate this type of training for our deputies as well as other law enforcement officers. Furthermore, each SRO is equipped, trained, and proficient with a rifle.

We are pledging that we will utilize our training, expertise, and our strong sense of duty to keep our children and teachers safe while they are on school grounds.