By HEATHER RUPPE
A new School Resource Officer (SRO) has been assigned, bringing the grand total of Colleton County SRO's to seven officers.
The new SRO to join Colleton's team of School Resource Officers is Heidi Coleman. Coleman is a seasoned officer who worked with Walterboro and Edisto PD before coming to CCSO as an SRO; she has been with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office for one month.
She is assigned to Colleton County High School. "My goal is to build rapport with staff and students," she said. "I want to have a safe and healthy school year."
With Coleman on board, the sheriff's office now has seven School Resource Officers spread throughout the school district. These officers are assigned to schools within the county. Each school has at least one SRO on campus.
The other School Resource Officers are Sgt. Shannon Thomason (Forest Hills Elementary and Black Street Elementary); Cpl. Chad Cummings (Colleton County High School); Cpl. Jimmy Wiggins (Bells Elementary School); Cpl. Stencil White (Hendersonville Elementary); Deputy Kyle Breland (Colleton Middle School); and Deputy Lopez (Colleton Middle School).
Both the high school and the middle school each have two assigned SROs at each school, with these deputies staying on those campuses each day of the week.
The Colleton County Sheriff's Office hires and trains these special officers, who work within local schools. The goal of having SROs in schools is to mentor students and help school leaders.
The officers – and the SRO program – are funded through a combination of funds from the sheriff's office and the Colleton County School District.