School Resource Officer
The Boone County Sheriff's Department and three county schools, Valley Springs School District, Alpena School District and Bergman School District have partnered together to provide law enforcement protection and representation to students, staff and administration on school grounds.
This partnership is part of Boone County Sheriff's Office county-wide community policing strategy. This partnership has provided an officer in an area where well over 1500 Boone County citizens are concentrated on any given day during the school year.
Lieutenant Dennis Lea has served this area as a Law enforcement Officer since 1992. He has been full time with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office since March of 2001. He is also a United States military veteran. He is a certified law enforcement instructor, firearms instructor, and holds an active shooter certificate. He also is the department’s defensive tactics instructor.
Lt. Lea is currently the Boone County Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Supervisor. In this position he is responsible for supervising those deputies serving as School Resource Officers and other deputies involved in community policing efforts. The Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Lea are committed to promoting an atmosphere where, together with the citizens of Boone County, we can provide training and safety to our County’s school systems and the entire community.
Deputy Douglas Becker is the School Resource Officer assigned to Bergman School District. His duties and responsibilities include school security, response to and investigation of reported crime, teaching of prevention classes and presentation of crime prevention and law enforcement related programs. Deputy Becker also teaches a 6th grade safety and drug prevention program that was implemented by the Bergman School Administration and is supported by the community. The 6th grade classes chose their own slogan and program; they call it "To Thine Own Self Be True".
Deputy Patrick Hirsh is the School Resource Officer for Lead Hill School District. He has been with the Boone County Sheriff's Office for 2 years. His duties include school security and safety for the students that attend Lead Hill, as well as response to and investigation of reported crimes. Coming from Dispatch, Patrick understands the importance of efficiency, patience and communication.
To further the Sheriff's Department community policing strategy, Valley Springs, Bergman, Lead Hill, Alpena and Omaha school districts have received grant funds applied for by the Sheriff's department through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Secure Our Schools program in 2007. This grant provided one half the cost of much needed security equipment for the schools such as surveillance systems, cameras and radios.
Sheriff Moore and the Sheriff’s Department hope to further enhance their community policing strategy with future employment of school resource officers at other county schools.