December 14, 2018

Heard County Schools add first School Resource Officer

(Franklin, GA) — Students and faculty in the Heard County school system have witnessed a new presence in the hallways with the first semester of the 2018-2019 school year now fully underway.

Heard County Schools, working in conjunction with the Heard County Sheriff’s Department, have employed an armed School Resource Officer.

Long-time Heard County Sheriff’s Deputy Cain Dean is now serving as the school system’s Resource Officer.

Heard County associate superintendent Mike Roberts says that Officer Dean’s presence is already being felt around the schools, and that his familiarity to many of the students is just one of the crucial benefits he brings to the table.

 “Our school board has been very intentional over the years regarding facility improvements as they relate to school safety. It’s a responsibility that we all take very seriously,” states Roberts.

“Officer Dean has hit the ground running and is already making a positive impact on our schools. He has a relationship with many of the students from his coaching days at the Heard County recreation department. A person who can build positive relationships with our students was very important to us.”

“When these positive relationships exist, the SRO can serve as a guide on a variety of challenging issues such as underage drinking, drug use, stressful life situations, and other types of peer pressure,” adds Roberts. “Resource officers can intervene before issues escalate and hopefully divert kids from the justice system.”

New Heard County School Resource Officer Cain Dean on duty at HHS Thursday

School Resource Officers are specifically selected and trained to promote safety in schools. Protecting students and staff from threats of violence is the primary role of an SRO.

Other duties can include patrolling school property, and attending to truancy, security, and traffic issues as they arise.

Research has consistently shown that School Resource Officers help reduce crime and bullying in schools.

As a law enforcement officer, the school becomes the officer’s patrol. The SRO assists the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure environment.

School administrators benefit from the SRO’s training, knowledge, and experience in handling situations.

The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter or identify trespassers on campus.

In addition, SROs provide a service to the surrounding community by addressing concerns such as loitering, stop signs or speeding in school zones.

SROs are responsible for investigating violations of criminal law. A SRO’s sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be a positive role model, but rather supports it.

It is essential for an SRO to endorse high moral standards and use good judgment and discretion. Through this, students also learn and understand what a professional police officer does.

It is important to note that SROs are not school disciplinarians. SROs are not involved in investigating school rule violations, such as a student cheating on a test. Violations of school rules are the responsibility of the principal and faculty.

Officer Dean is excited about his new position and eager to serve the students and community. While his primary office is at Heard High, he also spends time each at week at the other schools in the county.

Dean, age 39, has a wife of over 20 years and three children, all of whom attend or have attended Heard County schools. He himself graduated from Heard High in 1997.

“I’m excited to be working so closely with these Heard County kids and our local school system,” says Dean.

“I think it’s a good way for these students to better connect with law enforcement and to feel more comfortable coming to a police officer when they are in need of help. It is important for them to know that we are here not only to be a police officer when things go wrong, but to also be their friend, to help them, and to council them,” adds Officer Dean.

The SRO works closely with the Heard County Sheriff’s office, the Franklin Police Department, and other local agencies on a regular basis.

Comments

  1. Merina Chatman says:

    So glad to see this and you choose the perfect officer! He is very much a family man. A all round here at guy!

  2. Couldn’t have picked a better person for this job!

  3. wonderful news!

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