Sheriff Steven A. Hall is proud to announce the expansion of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer program into the county’s public elementary schools.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office provides School Resource Officers at the three public high schools and four public middle schools in St. Mary’s County. This week, Cpl. Julie Yingling, a 25-year veteran of the agency, was added as a School Resource Officer to serve at the 19 public elementary schools in St. Mary’s 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 Hall said.
“Cpl. Yingling brings the skill set and expertise to provide the resources back into our School Resource Officer program to the families, the students, and the school staff. It’s incredibly satisfying. This is my 30th day as Sheriff, and the program started today,” Sheriff Hall said on Thursday.
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.”
During the visit, many students 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. Adding a dedicated school resource officer for our elementary schools significantly enhances school safety and security. We are committed to expanding all school security initiatives, including School Resource Officers, adopt-a-school officers, and uniformed security for all our schools.”
In the 1998-1999 school year, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s 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.
Two more deputies were added in the 2019-2020 school year, providing a School Resource Officer at each of the four public middle schools.
The new School Resource Officer for the public elementary schools will visit the campuses on a rotating basis, including the Chesapeake Charter School. The Sheriff’s Office also continues its Adopt-A-School program, where deputies volunteer to check on a specific elementary school during their regular duties.