New Resource Officer for Highland Schools

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - In most schools around Region 8 the Student Resource Officer or SRO is a fairly common sight.

But until this school year Highland schools have never had one.

Sharp County Deputy Michael Baldwin  is so new to the school that even the students aren't sure what to call him.

Like a new student, Baldwin's first day had its share of butterflies.

"Nervous for the students, I was probably more nervous than the students. "

Junior Catherine Huscher said they had no notice that the school had hired and placed an officer at the school.

"When I came back to school I had no idea what was happening, it was pretty scary."

Michael Baldwin, is a veteran police officer and reserve sheriffs deputy. His position was created when a vice principal retired. That budget salary was re-aligned to fund the SRO position.

Superintendent Ronnie Brogdon said that an SRO serves also a role model.

"Just in a role of being around and developing a relationship to our kids and trying to keep any problems from arising that could arise."

It's hard to imagine working around 650 teenagers every day.

High School Principal Don Carithers says Baldwin has the right tools.

"The right mentality, the right disposition, and the right wherewithal you might say to work with students. And he possesses all of those."

An SRO is a sworn police officer or in this case a sheriffs deputy and, although low key in manner, Baldwin is there to keep the kids and faculty safe.

Baldwin, "I walk the halls, just check the campus over. Make sure that everything is secure that there's nobody here that's not supposed to be here."

The high school will be Baldwin's primary assignment but he will be going to other parts of the school district.

Baldwin, "I Roam from the High School to the Middle School and also the Elementary school."

So far reaction has been positive from both administration and, more importantly, the students themselves.

Principal Carithers, "We've had him two weeks and it's been going most excellently."

Baldwin, "Everybody seems to be real positive about it. Everybody is real excited and real glad that I'm here. "

Huscher, "He's just roaming the halls with us, We don't notice. He's just one of us and he keeps us safe."

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