Pre­ston Ele­men­tary gets school re­source of­fi­cer

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PRE­STON — Pre­ston Ele­men­tary School is now the first ele­men­tary school in Caro­line County with its own school re­source of­fi­cer, the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice an­nounced in a news re­lease.

Deputy First Class Char­maine Ba­corn, a 27-year vet­eran of the Anne Arun­del County Po­lice De­part­ment, was se­lected after an ex­ten­sive ap­pli­ca­tion and in­ter­view process.

Dur­ing her ten­ure in Anne Arun­del County, Ba­corn served 10 years in its school of­fi­cer re­source pro­gram and has nu­mer­ous cer­ti­fi­ca­tions through the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of School Re­source Of­fi­cers.

Ba­corn will be as­signed to the school full-time for the en­tire school year, and has been wel­comed by Prin­ci­pal Dr. Kari Clow and her staff.

“We are very for­tu­nate to have her fill this role and we are ex­cited to add her to our ranks,” said Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds. “The role of a school re­source of­fi­cer is one of the most cru­cial to ful­fill­ing our mis­sion as we work hard to en­sure a safe learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment in our schools.”

In Septem­ber, the Caro­line County com­mis­sion­ers, Town of Pre­ston com­mis­sion­ers and the Caro­line County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion agreed to split the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice’s cost of hir­ing a school re­source of­fi­cer for Pre­ston Ele­men­tary School.

Ear­lier this year, the Mary­land Leg­is­la­ture and Gov. Larry Ho­gan signed into law the Mary­land Safe to Learn Act. Among other statewide school safety stan­dards, the law re­quires pub­lic mid­dle and ele­men­tary schools to have ei­ther a school re­source of­fi­cer or plans for ad­e­quate law en­force­ment cov­er­age in place be­fore the 2019-20 school year.

Pre­ston El­e­men­tar y School is the only one of the county’s five ele­men­tary schools in a town that does not have its own po­lice force.

The other four ele­men­tary schools — Den­ton, Fed­er­als­burg, Greensboro and Ridgely — are cov­ered by town po­lice that visit the schools on a daily ba­sis and re­spond as needed in an emer­gency.

All four of the county’s mid­dle and high schools have an as­signed school re­source of­fi­cer.

“We highly value our re­la­tion­ship with law en­force­ment through­out Caro­line,” said Caro­line County Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools Dr. Pa­tri­cia Sae­lens. “We are ex­tremely pleased to add our first school re­source of­fi­cer to Pre­ston Ele­men­tary, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing DFC Ba­corn’s ex­ten­sive train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence.”

“The sher­iff’s of­fice, the Caro­line County com­mis­sion­ers and the Caro­line County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion made it a top pri­or­ity to en­sure our schools and chil­dren are safe on our school cam­puses,” Bounds said. “As a re­sult, we have taken the nec­es­sary steps through re­sponse train­ing, po­lice staffing and tech­nol­ogy to make that hap­pen.

“We would also like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank the Pre­ston Town Com­mis­sion­ers for part­ner­ing with us in launch­ing the new school re­source of­fi­cer po­si­tion in their ele­men­tary school,” Bounds said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Pre­ston Ele­men­tary School re­cently wel­comed Deputy First Class Char­maine Ba­corn, se­cond from left, its first as­signed school re­source of­fi­cer. Also pic­tured, left to right, is As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Rich Pet­roske, Prin­ci­pal Dr. Kari Clow, Ad­min­is­tra­tor Dr. James Orr and Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds.

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