The City of Galax and Galax City Public Schools are pleased to announce that the City has received a grant award to establish a new School Resource Officer at Galax Middle School. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services is providing grant funding for the establishment of a part-time School Resource Officer at Galax Middle School. As long as funding is available to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Galax hopes to continue receiving the grant funding for this new School Resource Officer position for 4 years.
Galax has two School Resource Officers in place now, Officers Vickie Taylor and Fred Bobbitt, that fulfill roles as a law enforcement officer, as a law-related educator, and as an informal mentor and role model. As a sworn public law enforcement officer, the School Resource Officer’s primary role in schools is as a law enforcement officer. School Resource Officers work with Galax school administrators in problem solving to prevent crime and promote safety in the school environment. School Resource Officers also provide law-related education to school authorities and to students.
Students often seek approval, direction, and guidance from adults in the school setting about various problems. Through formal and informal interaction with students, School Resource Officers frequently serve as informal mentors and role models.
The Galax City Public School Division and the Galax Police Department have an established Galax School-Law Enforcement Partnership to foster relations of mutual respect and understanding in order to build a positive and safe school environment. Galax City Public School Superintendent Bill Sturgill commented:
“Galax City Schools has a great relationship with our police department and the support of an additional officer only grows our relationship and helps protect our students. Resource officers in our division are an invaluable part of our staff. Beyond protection, our SROs provide they also work with students to build trust, they provide counseling and moral support to our students and families, and they support our school family. We are very excited about growing our staff of School Resource Officers. “
Since 2011, the City of Galax has aggressively pursued grants for various projects and have been successful in grant awards totaling over $17 million dollars. Grant funds have been used for building new infrastructure, new programs, staffing, equipment, and training.