May 18, 2024

School Resource Officer Program Expands

Resource Officer
Cpl. Julie Yingling, a 25-year veteran of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, has been added as a school resource officer to serve at the 19 public elementary schools in St. Mary’s on a rotating basis.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer program is expanding into the county’s public elementary schools.

The sheriff’s office provides school resource officers at the three public high schools and four public middle schools in St. Mary’s County. Cpl. Julie Yingling, a 25-year veteran of the agency, was added as a resource officer to serve at the 19 public elementary schools in the county on a rotating basis.

“It’s the one thing in the school resource officer program that needed to be addressed and this is the first step,” Sheriff Steven A. Hall said.

“Cpl. Yingling brings the skill set and expertise to provide the resources back into our school resource officer program, to the families, and the students and the school staff. It’s incredibly satisfying,” Sheriff Hall said.

While visiting students at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School in Mechanicsville, Sheriff Hall told a first-grade class that the new school resource officer will be “checking up on you guys to make sure you’re happy and safe.”

Many of the students during the visit told the sheriff that they already love police officers.

“We love you. That’s why we’re here,” Sheriff Hall told a kindergarten class there.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools Superintendent J. Scott Smith said, “St. Mary’s County Public Schools is tremendously thankful for the continued commitment to our partnership and the support of Sheriff Hall and the men and women of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. The addition of a dedicated school resource officer for our elementary schools is a significant enhancement for school safety and security. Together, we are committed to the continued expansion of all school security initiatives including school resource officers, adopt-a-school officers, and uniformed security for all of our schools.”

In the 1998-1999 school year, the sheriff’s office and the county board of education entered into a collaborative agreement that assigned a deputy to each of the three public high schools. The program was expanded in the 2005-2006 school year to add two more deputies, who split their time among the four public middle schools.

In the 2019-2020 school year, two more deputies were added, providing a resource officer at each of the four public middle schools.

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