School board hires second SRO

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education officially approved the addition of a second school resource officer during a special called meeting Thursday morning.

Marcus Williams, an officer with the Demopolis Police Department, stepped into the additional SRO role in December after the school board agreed to have him temporarily placed there in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Williams, who patrols the campuses of Westside Elementary School and U.S. Jones Elementary School, will cost the system between $16,000 to $17,000 as it reimburses the Demopolis Police Department for his salary and expenses during the time he serves the school system.

“I really applaud (Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Al) Griffin and the school board for being receptive to this,” Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese said of the board decision. “Any measure that we put in place is better than what we had.”

Williams will be in service to the school system through May 24 of this year. He joined DPD officer William Gulley who is the permanent school resource officer servicing Demopolis High School and Demopolis Middle School.

The board also voted to give Griffin the ability to determine what applies as a system level mass mailing, a decision that would allow the central office to absorb the cost of the mailing rather than individual schools.

The board also accepted the resignation of Demopolis Middle School English Language Arts teacher Donmonique Gracie, who will remain with the system through the end of the school year. The job opening will be posted immediately.