Preston Elementary gets school resource officer
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.
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.