School resource officer position removed from Carteret County school next year

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Carteret County school board member Katie Statler says she is concerned about the safety of the students at White Oak Elementary next year if they don’t have a school resource officer.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where school shootings are becoming normal news and we don’t even bat an eye at it,” says Statler.

According to Cape Carteret Town Manager Frank Rush, the Board of Commissioners agreed to eliminate the role from the 2024-2025 budget due to staffing issues within the department.

“We’re a very small police department. We have a total of 7 officers to serve our entire community which includes about 22 hundred people, 1,600 parcels and lots of visitors coming through town, particularly in the summer months,” says Rush.

Rush says the town would prefer the county to take on the responsibility because that is how it is typically handled in other districts.

Statler says things have been fine the way they were and without a school resource officer, student lives will be at risk.

“At the end of the day, you think it’s not going to be your school, it’s not going to be your town having the next school violence or school shooting. My fear is that it’s not us will be us one day,” says Statler.

Statler is urging the public to voice their concerns at the next Cape Carteret town board meeting on April 8th.

Rush says the current school resource officer will remain through the end of the school year.