Wake Co. sheriff recommends schools get their own police - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Wake Co. sheriff recommends schools get their own police

Posted: Updated:
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the school system should consider creating their own police department. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the school system should consider creating their own police department.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

With 150,000 students and growing, does Wake County Schools now need its own police department? One law enforcement official says yes. 

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison told the Wake County School Board Tuesday night it was time to start thinking about creating its own force as the demands on local law enforcement agencies keeps growing.

"It's just that we have grown so fast that we need to look at something differently that what we're looking at," Harrison said.

Right now, local police and the sheriff's office manage school resource officers in the county.  That's a total of 64 SROs scattered across nine different law enforcement agencies, all with their own policies and chains of command.

Harrison said the county schools should have a consistent policy to mandate how emergency drills are performed, how security cameras are operated, and to monitor how people enter and exit school buildings.

"Why not be consistent?" Harrison asked. "Why not have the right police department in there? Somebody that's looking after all of our schools, somebody that knows the day to day operations of all of our schools."

Just two other school systems in North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Moore County, operate their own police forces.

In Charlotte, a school spokesperson says the system splits some of the cost of their 49 officers and one sergeant with the city during the school year, with the city picking up the full tab when school is not in sesssion. In next year's budget, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is on the hook for 80 percent of the total cost -- for them -- totaling $5.3 million.

Harrison said just starting a new police force will carry a significant price tag with having to cover the cost of new equipment and vehicles.

"It's just like a town getting their own police department," he said.

When asked about it on Tuesday night, Wake County's incoming superintendent, Jim Merrill, said it was too soon to form an opinion on the issue.

"I can't tell you what might be appropriate for this system right now," Merrill said.

But Harrison said Wake County will only get bigger, and it's time to rethink how the county protects its children in a consistent way.

"And they're doing it as one umbrella," Harrison said. "Right now there's nine umbrellas there, and it's going to continue to grow."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • 2 charged with murder in beating death of UNC professor

    2 charged with murder in beating death of UNC professor

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:42:59 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.