Law Enforcement Agency: Sevier County Sheriff’s Office
How long have you worked in law enforcement? 7 years
Why did you become an SRO? I saw the growth in our community and the importance of the safety of our kids and young adults. I wanted to be someone who the kids knew they could turn to if they ever had any issues, whether it was at home or at school. I love being able to show kids that law enforcement can be a positive impact on people, not always a negative one.
What school/school district do you currently serve? Horatio School District
What do you find most challenging about working on a school campus? The most challenging thing about working on a school campus for me is trying to get the kids to understand that even if they do wrong and are in trouble, it isn’t personal. The majority of the kids I speak to automatically think I am just “out to get them” when that is not the case at all.
What do you find most rewarding about working on a school campus? The most rewarding thing working on a school campus is when students feel comfortable enough to come tell me things. In a high school setting, it is very hard to gain trust and make sure the kids feel open in telling you about stuff going on inside the school walls. In the elementary setting, it’s awesome when you see the kids outside of school. They don’t care who is around or what is going on…the first thing they do is run to you to say hi. Also, most kids in elementary carry on that trust you have built with them once they get to high school.
What has surprised you the most about working with kids? What surprises me the most by working with kids is the different home lives students have. Living in a rural community, we have kids who don’t have much but every day they come to school happy and ready to learn. Kids can leave whatever they have going on at home and enjoy school knowing they are safe.
Are there any programs/techniques that you feel have been helpful and effective in creating a safe learning environment? At Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, we have a program called RSAT (Residential Substance Abuse Treatment) implemented in our jail to help with addiction recovery. During school, we have graduates from that program come and speak to students about addiction and how in our community, if anyone needs any type of help, that it is always available.
What advice would you give to a first-year SRO? Talk to the kids and make sure they know they are safe.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working? I love spending time with my husband Dillon and daughter Faithlynn. We love watching sports (mainly the Razorbacks) with family and friends and spending time outdoors.
If you weren’t a police officer, what would you be doing instead? If I weren’t a police officer, I would most likely be a coach or teacher.
Do you know a School Resource Officer who should be featured in our SRO Spotlight? Let us know! Contact Vicki French at [email protected] or 501-570-8098.