My Turn, John G. Noble: Resource officers should be high priority

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 2, 2018

I truly believe it is important to have school resource officers in the elementary schools. The presence of school resource officers gives parents a sense of peace that children are in a safe environment. The community has strong confidence when the resource officer is available and seen in schools.

I am a former Rowan County deputy sheriff who has worked as a resource officer in the Rowan-Salisbury School System for many years. I learned so much about the students and got to know their families. I believe it was so much value added when I walked the halls, greeted students in passing who were headed toward their classrooms. I developed relationships with teachers, guidance counselors and principals. I’ve gained so much insight on how to approach and handle students having disruptive behavior. This is a very valuable investment for our schools and communities.

East Spencer Police Department, led by Police Chief Sharon Hovis, incorporates having her on-duty officers do routine checks and walk-throughs on the grounds of the Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School, Hanford-Dole Elementary School and Kiddieland Kindergarten in East Spencer. This is a terrific way to leverage taxpayer money to fill in gaps.

The reason behind not having resource officers in elementary schools is not enough money This was an issue when I was a resource officer, but funding always came available. The presence of school resource officers in elementary schools is a top priority issue that needs to be revisited, discussed and addressed.

I am not pointing fingers or placing blame, but I wanted to talk about a matter I deem is very important to the Rowan County community.

John G. Noble of East Spencer is a retired from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.