School Resource Officers are coming back with Colleton kids


By Heather Ruppe

This fall, students in all of Colleton County’s public schools will walk into classrooms with a buddy who helps to look out for them. This buddy, or mentor, is also known as a School Resource Officer (SRO).

SRO’s are law enforcement officers employed with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. Each officer who chooses to become an SRO does receives special and additional training through the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. This training allows them to work with children and to be leaders in local schools.

After completing this additional training, each SRO in Colleton County is then assigned to a certain school. There, these officers work with their schools’ administration, helping teachers and school leaders to influence students in a positive way.

“These officers ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff within our schools,” said Colleton County Sheriff Buddy Hill. “They play a critical role in our community’s safety and in the education of our students. We look forward to all that our officers will do this year to help our students and our communities thrive.”

School Resource Officers are trained by the sheriff’s office and are funded jointly, through the efforts of the sheriff’s office and the Colleton County School District.

This year, each school in Colleton County will have assigned SRO’s. Colleton County High School has two of these officers. This is because of the number of students who attend the school.

Colleton County School District Superintendent Dr. Vallerie Cave said she sets safety as a priority. “Through the support of the SRO partnership our students and families can be assured we put safety and well-being first. We appreciate the support of the Sheriff’s Department and look forward to a great school year,” she said.

These School Resource Officer assignments are:

Colleton County High School: Deputy Robin “Caroline” Chaplin and Deputy L. Cummings

Colleton County Middle School: Deputy Kyle Breland and Deputy Daniel Lopez

Hendersonville Elementary School: Cpl. Stencil White

Bells Elementary School: Cpl. Jimmy Wiggins

Cottageville Elementary School: Deputy Heidi Coleman

Northside Elementary School: Sgt. Shannon Thomason

Forest Hills Elementary School: Lt. Ricky Valentine

Black Street Elementary School: Cpl. Chad Cummings


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