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Officers ready to keep schools safe

Officers ready to keep schools safe

Most SROs will stay where they served last year

National School Resource Officer of the Year

Newton-Conover Middle School students give National School Resource Officer of the Year, Conover officer Sgt. Danny Baker, high-fives for his recent award.

Don Brown

ROBERT C. REED/HICKORY DAILY RECORD: Don Brown, Catawba County Sheriff candidate listens to other candidates speak at a recent forum.

Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown says his school resource officers (SROs) are ready to start another school year.

“The first week of school is kind of hectic, but we’re looking for that to be as smooth as possible,” Brown said. “Safety and security of our children is obviously the priority.”

Brown explained that the SRO division underwent a small overhaul this summer. “The supervisor over that division interviewed all the SROs, got their feelings on where they were, if they wanted to be moved and things like that,” he said.

School staff and administration were also surveyed. Brown said everyone was satisfied with where they were, and that most SROs will stay at the schools they served last year. 

There are a few exceptions. After Maiden Police Department announced earlier this summer that its officers will be taking over the SRO positions for Maiden High and Middle schools, that freed up two Catawba County SROs. 

Brown said Catawba County Sheriff's Deputy Amber Morris will be moved to Jacobs Fork Middle School. Deputy Joyce Cline, who previously served Jacobs Fork Middle, will be moved to focus on all Catawba County Schools system elementary schools.

“We have a lot of them (elementary schools), but I see her developing programs for all of those schools,” Brown said of Cline. There are 16 elementary schools in the Catawba County School system.

He added that he wants to see more relationships developed with students, school staff and parents at the elementary level. “She (Cline) will be spread very thin, but this is just a start,” Brown said. “We’re going to see how this works, and we’ll be making improvements as we go along.”

Brown wants to see more SROs in elementary schools. “This is an evaluation period,” he continued. “We’re going to see how it goes, and if it goes well then we’ll see what we can do to enhance it with more programs or personnel.”

Catawba County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Graham, who previously served Maiden High School,  will serve as a K9 officer dedicated to the school system.

“He (Graham) will be going to the high schools and middle schools for searches and things like that. I envision him going to the elementary schools for presentations as well,” Brown said. 

Here is a list of SROs and what schools they will be serving for the 2019/20 school year:

Catawba County Schools

Bandys High School — Deputy Marcus Miller, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO)

Bunker Hill High School — Deputy Josh Robertson, CCSO

Fred T. Foard High School — Deputy Jody Grindstaff, CCSO

Maiden High School — Officer David Lee, Maiden Police Department (MPD)

St. Stephens High School — Deputy Dale Lail, CCSO

Catawba Rosenwald Education Center — Deputy Chad Eades, CCSO

H.M. Arndt Middle School — Deputy Trent Davis, CCSO

Jacobs Fork Middle School —Deputy Amber Morris, CCSO

Maiden Middle School — Officer Mark Baker, MPD

Mill Creek Middle School — Deputy David Fox, CCSO

Riverbend Middle School — Cpl. Victor Morales, CCSO

Catawba Valley Community College — Deputies Chris Mills, Shawn Goodnight and Bryon Hollar, CCSO

Hickory Public Schools

Hickory High School — Officer Bryson Grier, Hickory Police Department (HPD)

Hickory Career and Arts Magnet School — Officer Anthony Callicutt, HPD

Northview Middle School — Officer Josh Null, HPD

Grandview Middle School — Officer Jamon Griffin, HPD

Jenkins Elementary School — Officer Josh Null, HPD

Viewmont Elementary School — Officer Josh Null, HPD

Longview Elementary School — Officer Jamon Griffin, HPD

Oakwood Elementary School — Officer Jamon Griffin, HPD

Newton-Conover Schools

Newton-Conover High School — Mst. John Stone, Newton Police Department

Newton-Conover Middle School — Officer Danny Baker, Conover Police Department

Shuford Elementary School — Officer Shannon Grindstaff, Conover Police Department (CPD)

Conover School — Officer Shannon Grindstaff, CPD

Emily Willis is a general assignment reporter at the Hickory Daily Record. 


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