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Sunday May 29th, 2016 5:35PM

Hall school officials approve safety & emergency preparedness leader

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County school board members have agreed to create the position of Supervisor/Coordinator of Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

To that end, they approved Sgt. Earl Roach to take the position Monday. He's served as a school resource officer since the program inception in 1998. Roach is also the Region 1 Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, according to the school system.

"The sheriff's department and commissioners have been wonderful. They're going to move Sgt. Roach out of his current position at East Hall and move him into that coordinating position centrally," Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said.

Schofield said he believed officials had already started the process of finding Roach's replacement.

As with the SRO's, Schofield said it will be a 70/30 funding split with the Hall County Sheriff's office, the school system paying 70 percent. The school board approved up to $60,000 for its share Monday.

Among other duties, Sergeant Roach will supervise the district's 12 SRO's, supervise routine safety audits and coordinate efforts with state and national law enforcement, according to school system spokesman Gordon Higgins.

He will also work directly with the school system, local emergency response units and the sheriff's office in coordinating and improving emergency planning and preparedness.

"We are convinced that it is time. We need to take it to the next level. This safety and emergency preparedness in every one of our schools every day need to belong to someone. We're convinced Sgt. Earl Roach is the man for that job," Schofield said.
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