School Resource Officer's report saves Robertsdale children from deplorable conditions

(image: BCSO) School Resource Officer's report saves Robertsdale children from deplorable conditions

The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office is crediting its new program assigning SRO's to every school for helping rescue two children from an unsafe home filled with drugs and guns.

Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said a sharp-eyed school resource deputy working at Rosinton Elementary School in Robertsdale noticed something was wrong with a student when she was dropped off Tuesday morning.

According to Sheriff Mack, the deputy observed Thomas Charles Cottle Jr, arrive at the school to drop off his 6-year-old daughter.

Deputies said the SRO noticed that a second child, later determined to be 4 years old, was not properly restrained while in the vehicle.

Investigators said the SRO, while speaking with Mr. Cottle, noticed that both children were very disheveled.

Sheriff Mack said the SRO and a DHR employee traveled to Mr. Cottle's house on Parker Lane in Robertsdale and initiated a welfare concern to check on the 4-year-old.

The residence was a camper trailer and authorities said the living conditions were deplorable and unsafe for anyone to occupy.

According to investigators, the deputy and the DHR employee found Brandy Michelle Booth, who is Cottle's girlfriend and the mother of both children.

Deputies said the camper had hot-wired power and no running water. It was also cluttered with drug paraphernalia and narcotics.

Investigators said Booth admitted to the deputy that she was smoking meth just 30 mins before authorities arrived. There were two guns recovered as well, one of which the mother tried to hide as Cottle answered the door.

Both Thomas Charles Cottle, Jr. and Brandy Michelle Booth, were charged with 2 counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. They were both taken to the Baldwin County Correction Center.

The children have been placed in foster care.

NBC 15's Cory Pippin spoke to Sheriff Mack about how the SRO program is helping local children. He'll have more in a live report at 10 p.m.

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