School Resource Officers & School Safety
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office provides full-time sworn deputy sheriffs which serve at all of the elementary, middle, and high schools in the county excluding those in the city limits of Statesville, Troutman, and Mooresville. Sheriff Campbell continues to grow this unit as our student population increases. There is a Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, and 25 Deputies currently assigned to this unit. This staff covers 3 high schools: North Iredell High School, West Iredell High School, and Lake Norman High School which has 2 School Resource Officers; and seven middle schools: North Iredell Middle School, West Iredell Middle School, East Iredell Middle School, Lakeshore Middle School, Brawley IB School, Woodland Heights Middle School, and Third Creek Middle School as well 14 of the elementary schools in the county.
School Resource Officers engage in community policing through law enforcement at the school level, law-related education/counseling, and mentoring students in need. They attend a week-long training course at the North Carolina Justice Academy, and typically have prior patrol experience to prepare them for this complex and rewarding assignment.
When our schools are not in session, and during the summer months, Sheriff Campbell utilizes these deputies in various divisions such as Patrol, Investigations, Civil, Warrants, Evidence, and Lake Patrol to provide the best customer service for the citizens of Iredell County.
Sheriff Campbell encourages the efforts the School Resource Officers make to continually seek out opportunities that engage, and educate our students. Some of these include Drug and alcohol awareness, driver’s safety, prom promise, hunter safety, teen academy, Sheriff’s Athletic League, National Archery in Schools Program, Anti-bullying, internet safety, and G.R.E.A.T.
The G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Related Education and Training) curriculum consists of twelve lessons delivered by the Middle School Resource Officers to all 6th-grade students during the school year. The educational program focuses on anger management, conflict resolution, peer pressure, and decision-making skills to ensure students are successful at avoiding gangs and making healthy life-style choices. These students participate in role-playing exercises and work as a team in groups to complete activities facilitated by the School Resource Officer in a classroom setting. Upon completion of this program, students keep their handbooks as a life guide and Sheriff Campbell awards them with a T-shirt that reads “I AM G.R.E.A.T.” to symbolize their accomplishment.
School Safety Checks
All of our deputies and detectives are encouraged to visit the schools in their areas of responsibility on a routine basis. This fosters a sense of security for the students and staff, especially at the elementary school level. Security checks at schools are conducted day and night to ensure that the environment is a safe place for the students to attend and the community to visit.
There are 17 elementary schools in the Iredell-Statesville Schools district. Sheriff Campbell has assigned a Deputy to provide continual daily visits to establish relationships with the administration, staff, and students. This Deputy is also provided the opportunity for schools to receive the youth mobile education classroom. This unique asset was developed and designed by Sheriff Campbell to reach students and educate them on the dangers of making bad decisions like drugs, gangs, bullying, and internet safety.
In 2018, Sheriff Campbell, using Seized Asset Forfeiture Money purchased 21 Ballistic Shields allowing us to pre-position some of these valuable tools at our schools. These shields can be utilized by school staff members and deputies alike if confronted by an active shooter at a school. By staging these shields at the schools, we were able to provide instant protection on-site for staff, and students to have to stay safe as we respond to their location in the event of an incident.
Threat Assessment Investigator
Sheriff Campbell is proud of this position in the dynamic, ever-growing, and evolving area of school and community safety. When Sheriff Campbell created the position in June of 2018 there was only one other threat assessment investigator at a Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, and he works on the east coast. Detective Heather Little brings experience to this position. She has served as at the Iredell County Sheriff's Office since 2017, most recently in our Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Unit. Detective Little will use her training and experience to take a proactive approach to educate schools, businesses, and churches on how to respond to active shooter situations, and how to address other situations.
She will work for hand in hand with our community partners to practice drills and plan training exercises. When a potential threat is received from a student or other suspect, this position acts as an integral part of the rapid response team to trace, identify, and validate this threat even through social media platforms.
Detective Heather Little Threat Assessment Investigator
Find more information on those who work in this division in our staff directory.