Cumberland County Sheriff's Office pulls resource officers from Fayetteville schools

Monique John Image
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Sheriff's Office pulls resource officers from Fayetteville schools
"This day and age is not the time to do that."

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies will no longer staff resource officers (SRO) and crossing guard positions at schools in Fayetteville city limits, and said it's transferring the responsibility to Fayetteville police.

Nearly 50 schools in Fayetteville are being impacted by the transition. Cumberland County Schools (CCS) families told ABC11 they're worried about the impact on the upcoming school year.

One student said she values having SROs in schools:

"There's sexual assaults that the police are there to stop. There's guns and knives that end up getting taken to school that police are there to help solve. Drugs. All kinds of stuff," said Hannah Russell, a Pine Forest High School student.

"With my daughter, she feels more comfortable going to the school resource officers in the school than she does the counselor," said her mother, Chasity Russell.

The sheriff's office said it will stop assigning crossing guards and resource officers from its department to schools in Fayetteville starting July 1 in a recent letter to Fayetteville police.

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When asked, neither office said what's behind the change.

"This day and age is not the time to do that," said CCS parent Alisha Stutts.

CCS said it will meet with the sheriff's office and Fayetteville police next Thursday to plan out next steps. At this time it's unclear if the Fayetteville Police Department will fill these roles.

Parents told ABC11 that cracking down on bullying should be a priority of the school safety plan going forward.

"When you start implementing ways for these kids to learn how to treat each other in a better way, how to be more respectful of one, themselves, and of those around them, a lot of the bullying will stop," said CCS parent Michele Ornelas. "And when the bullying stops, a lot of the fights will stop. When the fights stop, you don't need as much from your local law enforcement."