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Gainesville City Schools announces new safety and security position

Former School Resource Officer (SRO), Bonner Burton was chosen to take on the role of Safety and Security Manager of the district.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — On Tuesday, the Gainesville City School System announced in a board of education meeting that they will be implementing the new position of Safety and Security Manager to increase safety in the district. 

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students,” Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Williams, said in a press release. “Adding this position to our district leadership ensures it remains our priority and continues to evolve with the needs of our community.” 

Former School Resource Officer (SRO), Bonner Burton was chosen to take on the role. His first task is to hire and oversee 10 new armed security guards to be put in all schools – elementary and middle schools will receive one security guard, while high schools will receive two. 

GCSS Deputy Superintendent, Priscilla Collins told 11Alive she hopes the new guards will be a  “deterrent to those who would seek to do harm on our campuses” as they will be an additional layer of security to the campus grounds and parking lots. 

The introduction of these new roles is in response to the increased amount of violence in schools across the country.

“Of course, with Uvalde, you know, with that being uppermost in people's minds, we were getting communication from our faculty as well as our community members about what, you know, what can the school district do to ensure that our students are safe and our faculties are safe,” Collins explained

She said the district currently only has five SROs across who are primarily stationed at their middle and high school campuses, but they hope to integrate the new security guards throughout all nine locations.

GCSS said the position will also work with the Gainesville Police Department. Burton will be the first line of communication of all police personnel, SROs and security guards. 

He will lead the hiring process of the new armed security guards starting Monday, Sept. 12. 

Collins said the district has already received over 50 applications, so they hope to have the positions filled within the next month. 

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