While Sheriff Kenny Lemons is asking school districts in Clay County for support in hiring a school resource officer, the Bowie Police Department and Bowie ISD operate one of the more successful SRO programs in the area.
With the end of the 2011-12 school year, Bowie’s SRO program completed its 10th year in operation. The program began in August 2002 with a COPS grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The grant funded the program for the first three years with a stipulation that the program would continue once federal funding expired.
Bowie ISD pays the salary of the school resource officer, while Bowie PD picks up any extras, such as equipment and supplies.
Bowie Police Chief David Scruggs said the department budgets a salary for the position as a safety net to keep the position funded.
“We had concerns a couple of years ago with school cutbacks and such,” said Scruggs.
Officer Bob Blackburn has held the position since the program began. Officer Bob, as he is known to students, is assigned to Bowie High School, but available to the elementary, intermediate and junior high campuses as needed.
As part of his duties, Blackburn teaches a criminal justice course at Bowie High.