KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler says deputies will continue to serve inside Knox County Schools.
On Wednesday, Mayor Indya Kincannon announced the city and the Knoxville Police Department were withdrawing from a memorandum of agreement with Knox County Schools that placed officer on campuses.
Kincannon and Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas released a joint statement saying the decision was in its “best interest.”
Deputies with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office serve in some Knox County Schools, as well. Late Wednesday, Sheriff Spangler released this statement:
“I’m releasing a statement at this late hour in response to the many calls, emails and requests I’ve received this evening in reference to officers being pulled from some Knox County Schools. I took an oath to protect all Knox County Citizens. I will abide by that oath as will our Deputies. We will continue to protect our most vulnerable, which is our children. I am NOT pulling any of our Deputies out of any Knox County School that we are currently in.”Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler
Discussions on a proposal to rework the agreement placing officers in schools are expected to be held, according to the statement from Kincannon and Thomas. Meanwhile, Student Resource Officers will remain on campus and continue with training this summer.
The decision comes about a month after armed student Anthony Thompson Jr was shot and killed by a Knoxville Police officer during a confrontation in a bathroom at Austin-East Magnet High School.