Prevention Resource Officers
Perry Blankenship, Coordinator
(304) 436-8441 ext. 222
The Prevention Resource Officer Program began in McDowell County in 1999. It is a cooperative program between the McDowell County Sheriff's Department and the McDowell County Board of Education that puts a fully uniformed officer in the schools, but not entirely for law enforcement purposes. The program is designed for the students to get to know the officers and for the officer to get to know the students on a different level. The officers go into classes and facilitate non-traditional classes such as DUI, Domestic Violence, Prevention of Violence in School, and other classes that the officer develops.
As of the 2005-2006 school year, there are four PROs in the McDowell County school system. These officers spend their entire day at school and attend most all-school and after-school functions. The officers provide a sense of security to students and teachers. These officers are considered invaluable to the schools, and once implemented, the schools feel that they would not want to function without one.
One student said, “There aren’t any negative effects of having a PRO around. It’s informative and I feel much safer in school.” A big part of the PRO’s job is to listen to the students. He can be helpful by connecting students to services available to them throughout the community and more. The program also provides a safe working environment for teachers, and provides a useful resource to teachers during some of their classes.
Parents, students, and other members of the community know that seeing a Prevention Resource Officer in school can deter students from bringing weapons and drugs to school.
Last Modified on April 27, 2020