PIQUA — The Upper Valley Career Center has become a safer place having a trained set of eyes looking out for students and staff on campus.
For the first time in 10 years, the Upper Valley Career Center hired on Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Peoples as the school resource officer (SRO) on campus. His primary duties on campus are to serve as a resource for students and staff, and to intervene any illegal activity.
Superintendent Dr. Nancy Luce said internal transitions with some staff retiring prompted the hire as well as a way to increase security.
“We thought that (the hire) was a part of our continuing efforts to increasing safety and security,” Luce said. “It’s an opportunity for students and staff to really understand the role of law enforcement and see them as individuals who are really performing an important function in our society … encourages us all to work together to maintain a safe environment.”
Peoples will not be responsible for disciplinary actions, but will assist during a dispute. Any violations of school rules will be carried out by school administrators.
“The SRO is really involved in helping to maintain a safe and secure environment, which is different than discipline,” Luce said.
Not only does Peoples gives the campus a sense of security, but serves the students educationally as well. He visits the forensic science students to talk about his field.
“I always enjoy the interaction with the students and their various questions,” he said.
Peoples has been on campus for four weeks now with everything running smoothly.
“He’s really been a positive addition to our staff,” Luce said. “The students are getting to know him and getting around the building, and that’s what we want.”
“Things are coming together pretty quickly,” Peoples said. “In a short period of time, I’ve had people come ask me questions … it’s been real good, real positive … the staff likes me being here from a security stand point.”
Peoples has been with the sheriff’s office for 23 years, having worked in the county jail and as a general assignment detective for five years, dealing with criminal investigations with the exception of drugs. In conjunction as SRO, Peoples also serves court security on days he is not on campus.
“I guess you can say that I am well-rounded,” Peoples joked.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.