Reporter: Sally Delta
Appomattox Co., VA - School resource officers see it all, but Appomattox County Middle School is about to lose its SRO this school year.
"I think it's very disappointing that we are at a stage where we need to have an officer on school grounds at all times," said Melanie Chambers, an Appomattox County resident.
Chambers remembers when SROs didn't exist, but she's heard about the fights and bullying in schools and knows they're needed.
"I do hope they can find a way to put someone in that job," she said.
Since 1999 there's been a School Resource Officer in both Appomattox county middle and high schools.
"It makes you feel like you're taking a step backwards," said Barry Letterman, sheriff of Appomattox County.
Letterman knows how important an SRO's presence is. He says the job was part security and part lending an ear.
"It could be a problem they're having at home or in the community they would come to you, they would have access to you," he said.
Letterman is concerned about taking that presence out of the middle school, but feels he doesn't have much choice.
"When you get multiple calls you need to respond and citizens expect you to respond in a timely manner."
The 11 positions that moved out of the Appomattox jail took all the help he had. Now his deputies have to do all the work the correctional officers used to. Letterman has been looking for ways to fund the position but says the money just isn't there.
"It's just tight times, and it's tight times for everybody."
It started when the Appomattox County jail closed last December. That took 11 positions from the Appomattox County Sheriff's department. Now the loss of manpower is now starting to affect the school system.
The sheriff's office had to ask the county for financial help earlier this year to avoid losing a position. Letterman says they'll need around $40,000 to keep an SRO in the middle school.