Knox County Mayor Jacobs repeats support for school safety, notes proposal for student health positions


Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs reiterated his support for Knox County Schools and school safety Thursday, a day after Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Chief of Police Eve Thomas announced they are pulling out of an agreement that put police in schools.

Jacobs noted his proposal, requested by community members and KCS, to allocate $3 million for 50 positions to address student behavioral and mental health issues.

“To be clear, these positions are meant to supplement and support the schools – not to replace security – as I believe a law enforcement presence inside schools is an absolute necessity,” Jacobs said.

He went on to say he is grateful for Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler and shares an “unyielding commitment” to student safety with the county’s top law enforcement officer.

“We want to reassure families that we will work with the school system and the city of Knoxville to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all Knox County students.”

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs

In a statement Wednesday night Spangler said deputies will continue to serve inside Knox County Schools.

Thomas emphasized Thursday morning the Knoxville Police’s withdrawal doesn’t mean that officers won’t staff school resource officer positions at schools next year, but the pause will allow for discussions between all parties about the most effective role of law enforcement in schools.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 Storm Weather School

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter