(07/25/13) Long Time Jackson County Law Officer Steve Collins has been hired to be the new School Resource Officer(SRO) for Smoky Mountain Elementary School. The Jackson County Sherriff’s Department and the School Board had requested that Jackson County add an additional School Resource Officer in at Smokey Mountain Elementary because of that school’s distance from the Sherriff’s Office in Sylva. The Jackson County Commissioners voted in June to fund the new SRO position. Officer Collins brings many years of law enforcement experience to the position including several years as a border patrol officer. After returning to Jackson County Collins was employed by the local law enforcement agencies including the Western Carolina University Police Department. Officer Collins retired from the state and took care of his ailing father who was one of the few remaining Pearl Harbor survivors until his death in December. Collins will be rejoined with Sherriff Jimmy Ashe who was an officer with the Western Carolina University Police Department prior to being elected as the Jackson County Sherriff.