Students and parents returning to Lakeland Elementary School from fall break on Monday used a newly completed secure entrance and met the school’s new armed security guard. The additions are being partially subsidized by one-time and recurring school safety funding from the Tennessee Department of Education.
The construction of the new entrance was already underway when the grants from the state were announced. The new security position was approved as part of the school system’s 2018-19 budget. Lakeland Middle Preparatory School is serviced by a school resource officer (SRO) provided by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.
Robert Gibson will serve as the new in-house security officer at Lakeland Elementary and will be assigned to the school full-time. Mr. Gibson has previously served in the Air Force and as a police officer for six years in Johnson City, TN. He has extensive training as a police officer and armed security guard. He has also worked as a security officer in a Category 1 nuclear facility and as an explosive detection canine handler for a private company .He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Lakeland School System superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell said, “Our school board and administration are constantly evaluating ways to improve the safety and security of our schools so our teachers and students can focus on learning. These enhancements are the right utilization of resources and will make a difference in making students and staff safer.”