It took some time to make it happen, but every school in the Schools of Guntersville system how has a school resource officer (SRO).
There had been 2 resource officers previously, Scott Quigley at Guntersville High School and Tim Nugent at Guntersville Middle School.
The elementary schools had officers, but it was regular police officers who just worked part-time in those schools on their days off.
Now, Ken Bubbett has been assigned to Cherokee Elementary and Jonathan Harris to Guntersville Elementary School.
"Three of our 4 officers have children in the school system, so they have a vested interest," Police Chief Jim Peterson said. The City School Board agreed to pay 9/12 of the two new officers' salaries since they will work as regular officers when school is out of session.
The Police Department budget covers the 2 officers that were already in place.
Peterson said it takes a special person to be a school resource officer.
"You have to be a friend to the students and you have to get to know them," he said. "But in one second, that can change, and you have to be a police officer."
The National Association of School Officers is located in Hoover, Alabama, and all of Guntersville's officers are certified through that program. It is run by a Boaz native, Mo Canady.
Quigley is Guntersville's senior school resource officer. He was an SRO in Boaz before coming to Guntersville 12 years ago.
All Guntersville's resource officers have experience as patrolmen. Harris worked in the jail and as a dispatcher before becoming a patrolman.
Bubbett was in the military and served as a guard in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and also as a chaplain's escort on the battlefield.
Here's a little about each of the school officers:
Harris is Guntersville's "home grown" officer since he worked his way up from the jail to patrolman. He has been an officer for 6 years.
He went to school and played football at Albertville High School, "but I'm a Wildcat now," Harris said.
He and his wife have 3 daughters.
He said he didn't know how the teachers and staff might react to having a police officer in their midst full-time.
"They've welcomed me and made me feel I was one of them," he said.
Bubbett has been in law enforcement for 5 years. He worked in the jail before becoming a patrol officer. He was with the Guard and did 2 deployments to Iraq.
He and his wife have 4 children, 3 of them in the Guntersville school system.
"And the 2 year old will be in the Guntersville system eventually," he said.
He has started a flag detail at Cherokee to teach students proper care when raising and lowering the flag and to instill respect and patriotism where he can. He acknowledged that there is an educational component that goes along with being a resource officer.
Along with Quigley, Nugent serves as a park bike officer in the summers when he's not working at Guntersville Middle School.
He enjoys working with the teachers and seeing the students. He stressed that school officers are there to assist the staff in a variety of functions, but they are not there to handle school discipline.
If a discipline issue reaches the criminal level, the officer is there to take it up.
"It helps a lot to have background on the issue," Nugent said.
Nugent has been an SRO for 10 years. He has been in civilian law enforcement for 12 years and was a military MP for 27 years before that. He served in Iraq in 06-07.
He and his wife have 3 grown children, including Cody Nugent, the Marshall County coroner.
Quigley is entering his 12th year at Guntersville High School. Peterson hired him for the spot shortly after he himself became chief.
He and his wife have 4 kids. All are either Guntersville students or have been Guntersville students. Quigley is a band parent with children in the Crimson Guard marching band.
"I enjoy school work," Quigley said.
Boaz was doing away with its school program when he got the call and decided to continue that career in Guntersville.
Juuling is one of the new trends among youth. And it happens at GHS just like it does other schools. Juuls are the vape or electronic smoking devices that resemble a computer USB.
Quigley caught about 18 students juuling last year. It not only gets the student in trouble at school. It's a criminal offense since it involves underage smoking. To make the lesson as effective as possible for the student, Quigley usually writes students a ticket if he catches them.
He enjoys lifting weights and working out and frequently arrives at school early to use the exercise equipment before his shift starts.
Guntersville school administrators are very happy to have a full staff of school resource officers this year.
"We are very fortunate to add Officer Bubbett and Officer Harris as School Resource Officers for our elementary schools as we begin the 2019-2020 school year," Superintendent Brett Stanton said. "In addition to Officer Quigley at GHS and Officer Nugent at GMS, we have been provided with a quality team of School Resource Officers to support our school system in the areas of safety and security. The addition of these two School Resource Officers serves as another example of the positive working relationship between our school system and the City Council."
Guntersville High principal Roseanne Mabrey said school resource officers provide a lot of different services for the schools.
"Just having that presence means so much to us," she said. "Just the visibility of the officer is important. He also provides an immediate response when needed."