School resource officers honored at I-SS school board meeting
School resource officers from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Statesville Police Department and Troutman Police Department were honored at Monday's Iredell-Statesville Board of Education meeting.
BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson and the school board recognized all new and returning school resource officers who protect the students and faculty every day during the school board meeting Monday.
Each elementary school has a part-time SRO. All district middle schools and high schools have an SRO (with two at both South Iredell and Lake Norman High School due to their enrollment).
“I have noticed what you do firsthand in our schools. You’re doing a great job of promoting a positive image of law enforcement, developing relationships in the community and I’m so thankful for everything you do every day for us,” said school board member Ken Poindexter.
Vice Chairman Chuck Gallyon said SROs are critical in today’s world.
“These guys have done a great job. It’s in here, it’s right here, right behind their badge, it’s called their heart,” Gallyon said.
While the resource officers don’t get involved in normal school disciplinary issues, they do work closely with administrators to prevent issues from escalating into legal problems.
They may also step for fights or in situations that endanger students and school personnel.
SRO Gina Cranford was named the 2019 recipient of the Mooresville-South Iredell Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year Award. Cranford and Dallas Hicks, another SRO, provided life-saving CPR for a student at Lake Norman High School.
I-SS Chairman Martin Page explained that the county commissioners set up a funding source after the quarter-cent sales tax for education failed in order to fund additional school resource officers this year.
“We cannot thank them enough for making this happen. The safety of our youth is so important,” Page said. “It’s not just the safety, but they get to know the kids.”
The Career Academy and Technical School culinary students honored their CATS SRO Kerry Baker along with the other SROs by treating them to a sit-down-dinner.
The dinner took place before the school board meeting and was also a time to celebrate the addition of new school resource officers this school year.
Baker has also spearheaded efforts to promote a positive school climate and get students involved in community service opportunities.
During September, he organizes a domestic violence awareness event in which students help provide a day of hope to victims by donating resources and utilizing their skills learned at CATS.
Superintendent Johnson said that he has received a lot of positive comments from district principals about the SROs and the service they are providing in the schools.
“I think we’re very fortunate that we can tell our parents that this community really does take safety and security and wellbeing of their students to heart,” Johnson said.
Johnson and the board also recognized County Commissioner Gene Houpe.
“Gene has really led the charge on this to be able to provide us with the necessary funds to do what we need to do,” Page said.