BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office will soon be getting new deputies added to the patrol. 

This comes after Sheriff Asa Buck has been pushing for there to be a student resource officer at every school in the county. There are currently five schools in the county without any SROs. It’s been the sheriff’s mission to get those schools covered, and with the support of the county commissioners at Monday night’s meeting, it’s getting closer to becoming a reality. 

“Immediately after the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, our conversations with the commissioners and with myself, we were all desirous of adding additional school resource officers as soon as we could,” Buck said.

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Commissioners approved two motions – one to add three SROs from the sheriff’s office and one to add two new deputies to the force. They also voted to provide funding to Beaufort and Newport so that they can add their own SROs to the schools in the area from their local police departments. 

“We certainly have seen highlighted by recent events that we have to continue to focus on and improve our efforts to keep them safe. And so being able to add school resource officers improve our ability to meet that need, and we certainly appreciate that,” said Carteret County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Jackson. 

Buck said he has been pushing for these efforts for years, but after recent events, he feels it’s more important now than ever before.  

“We hope and pray that nothing like that ever occurs here. But we want to be on the best footing that we can if something were to happen and have all the appropriate resources and procedures in place,” said Buck. 

The sheriff added the two additional deputies that he hires will patrol the western part of the county. 

“Those positions will help us to answer calls and have a better presence in the community throughout the county, as well as being able to provide additional coverage and protection for our schools and everything else that we do in the patrol division,” said Buck. 

Both Buck and the school system hope to have all the SROs hired and ready to go by the time the next school year starts.