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Back to school: School resource officers

By Sarah Nagem
snagem@salisburypost.com
School resource officers are at every Rowan-Salisbury middle school and high school. They help ensure safety at the schools and regularly interact with students. Some of these law enforcement officers took the time to answer some questions about themselves:
Carson High School
Name: Nena M. Stillwell
Age: 39
Experience: Stillwell has been in law enforcement for 13 years. She is an officer with the China Grove Police Department.
Family: Stillwell is married and has four children.
Why did you decide to get into law enforcement? “I saw being a law enforcement officer as a way to give back to my community.”What do you like about being a school resource officer? Being a school resource officer provides me a unique opportunity to get to know the students and hopefully have a positive influence on their lives. There is such a strong sense of community at Carson High School that reaches from the administration to the faculty and students and carries over to the parents and families of the students.If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? I can’t imagine having chosen any other career.
China Grove Middle
Name:Jeff Alley
Age:46
Experience: Alley is an officer with the China Grove Police Department.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?I wanted to help people and make sure people were dealt with in the right way.
What do you like about being a school resource officer?I’ve got real good charisma with the kids. … I have a positive effect on them, I know I do.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do?Be a small-business owner.
Erwin Middle School
Name:Deputy Carol H. Cable
Experience:Cable has worked in law enforcement for 12 years. She is a deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Family:Cable is married and has two children.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement? I enjoy the excitement of every day being different.I am a people person and I enjoy being able to help others.
What do you like about being a school resource officer? I have a wonderful opportunity to be a positive influence in a child’s life.If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? Become a pediatric nurse.
Henderson Independent
Name:Michael McCart
Age:50
Experience:McCart has worked in law enforcement for 29 years. He has been with the Salisbury Police Department since 1985.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do when I was growing up. McCart’s father was also a law enforcement officer.
What do you like about being a school resource officer? I like working with kids.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do?Become a teacher or a coach.
Henderson Independent
Name: Kareem Puranda
Age: 30
Experience: Puranda has been in law enforcement for six years. He is an officer with the Salisbury Police Department.Family: Puranda has a 5-year-old son.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement? To make contributions toward a safer community.
What do you like about being a school resource officer? Mentoring youth.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? School counselor or principal.
Knox Middle School
Name:Shanita L. Millsaps
Age:42
Experience: Millsaps has been in law enforcement for 15 years. Her first job was at Livingstone College in 1994. She has worked for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Rowan County Detention Center. She was a bailiff at the Rowan County Courthouse from 1995-1999. She is an officer with the Salisbury Police Department.
Family: Millsaps is a mother of four ó a son, 20, a daughter, 17, and twin boys, 11.
Why did you decide to get into law enforcement? I decided to get into law enforcement to make a difference. I look at the young people today and see that we need all the help we can get. They are our future and if we don’t try to help them, the world will be in trouble. I feel like to help them is to first understand them and what they maybe going through. Sometimes we have to do things that is in the best interest for the community and that may be the arrest or the counseling.What do you like about being a school resource officer? Being there for children who may need a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, a mother or a friend. Sometimes these children just need a hug or someone to tell them you love them.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? A counselor.
Salisbury High School
Name: Lynn Foster
Age: 47
Experience: Foster has worked in law enforcement for 21 years.
Family: Foster is married and has two sons, 14 and 4.
What do you like about being a school resource officer?The interaction with the students, working with a great staff and helping with the baseball team at Salisbury High.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? Become a high school teacher.
South Rowan High
Name: Ken Honeycutt
Age: 41
Experience: This will be Honeycutt’s fifth year as the school resource officer at South Rowan High School. He joined the Landis Police Department in 2004 and served as a school resource officer at Southeast Middle for two years.
Family: Honeycutt is married with two children, ages 14 and 10.
Why did you decide to get into law enforcement? Ever since I was kid, I knew that was my calling. Honeycutt said that when he and his friends played cops and robbers when they were young, he was always the sheriff.
What do you like about being a school resource officer? You actually get to see from ninth grade to 12th how kids change.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? Be retired.
East Rowan High
Name: Ryan Walker
Age: 32
Experience: Walker has worked in law enforcement for 11 years. He is a deputy for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.Family: Walker is married.
Why did you decide to get into law enforcement? I enjoy helping other people.
What do like about being a school resource officer? Helping students and knowing that I am making a difference.
West Rowan High
Name: Lana Sterling
Age: 44
Experience: Sterling has worked in law enforcement for 14 years and is a deputy for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.Family: Sterling is married and has two adult children.
Why did you decide to get into law enforcement? To help people.What do you like about being a school resource officer? Being with the students and being a role model for them and encouraging them to be the best that they can be, in all that they do.
If you weren’t a law enforcement officer, what would you do? No other career has ever crossed my mind.
Other school resource officers are as follows:
Corriher-Lipe Middle: Lance Montgomery of the Landis Police Department.
North Rowan High School: Tony Hinson of the Spencer Police Department.
North Rowan Middle School:Jeremy Crews of the Spencer Police Department.
Southeast Middle School:J. Alderman of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
West Rowan Middle School:Christine Brown of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
DARE officer:Jennifer Mason of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

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