Sgt. John Schultz and Sgt. Tom Howard don't want to affect the lives of only a few Ohio County school students - they want to help them all.
Schultz and Howard, who presented at the National School Safety Advocacy Council conference in Orlando, Fla., on July 31, shared their passion for being prevention resource officers Tuesday with members of the Wheeling Rotary Club.
The officers took turns presenting facts about the duties and responsibilities of their jobs.
Photo by Fred Connors
Sgt. John Schultz, left, and Sgt. Tom Howard discuss their duties as prevention resource officers Tuesday during a meeting of the Wheeling Rotary Club.
"We are the first ones there and the last ones to leave every day," Howard said. "We also attend all extra-curricular activities. I am the one you see out there every morning directing traffic and trying not to get run over."
Schultz said the officers' primary duties are in the middle schools, but they also visit the elementary schools and share information with officials at the private schools.
"When it comes to child safety, we are leaving no child behind," he said.
The officers said they work daily with school guidance counselors concerning at-risk students on issues such as bullying, abuse and neglect, lack of proper clothing and other needs.
With school safety as a priority, the officers developed a safety plan that includes exterior window labeling to help outside officers identify which room of a school may be in need, printed building blueprints and created safe places for students in the event of airborne threats.
They also spend time instructing students on things such as domestic violence, and drug prevention.
The officers also notify Child Protective Services or Department of Health and Human Resources officials about conditions requiring immediate action. "We want our influence on the students to be everlasting and life changing," Schultz said.