Calhoun, Talladega Counties trying to pass "School Safety Act" - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Calhoun, Talladega Counties trying to pass "School Safety Act"

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OXFORD - AL -

Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge wants your vote. He's not running for office...he wants your money.

Friday, Partridge, along with representatives from law enforcement agencies from Calhoun and Talladega Counties, announced the need for the "School Safety Act."

"People are concerned and they want their kids to be safe," Partridge said. "This is a way that we've come about to be able to provide adequate protection for each of these schools in both of these counties."

If passed, the proposed property tax would put a School Resource Officer in every school in the two counties. That's eight school systems and 53 schools.

For 10 cents a day, $35 a year, $2.5 million annually, it would also enhance communication between schools, bus drivers and law enforcement. And it would allow teachers to immediately notify superiors in the event of a crisis on campus.

"Please vote yes for this," Talladega Police Chief, Alan Watson, said. "It is that important."

Watson says with recent, school related incidents, you cannot put a price tag on safety.

"We have to protect our children," he said. "We don't need to wait until something major happens. We need to get ahead of it."

Calhoun County Sheriff, Larry Amerson, agrees.

"We think [10 cents] is not unreasonable," Amerson said. "We think that's a good bargain and we think that's going to be good for all the people in the county."

Calhoun County is estimated to get $1.38 million annually, while Talladega is expected to pull in about $1.13 million.

Partridge says two bills will go before the state House and Senate, and hopefully should be ready for a special vote in June.

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