East Coweta High School’s resource officer wins state honor

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The School Resource Officer at East Coweta High School has been named the Georgia School Resource Officer of the Year. Cpl. Vence Meadows, a Coweta County Sheriff’s deputy, received the honor Aug. 5 at a meeting of the Georgia Association of School Resource Officers. It was the first year GASRO offered the state-wide recognition.

Meadows has served with the Coweta County Sherriff’s office since 1996 and has served as an SRO since 1999. He was nominated for the honor by Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager and Lieutenant Stephen Crook, who oversees the sheriff’s deputies who serve as SROs in Coweta schools.
“I’m honored,” said Meadows. “I appreciated being nominated.”

Yeager and Crook joined with GASRO Executive Director Karen Gray and GASRO Treasurer Ruby Mitchell Smith in officially bestowing the state-wide honor on Meadows on Friday.

“I’m very proud of Vence for this honor and for his service,” said Yeager. “I’m proud of the work that all of our SROs do.”

The Coweta County School Resource Officer program is a joint effort between the Coweta County School System, the Coweta County Sherriff’s Office and the City of Newnan Police Department. The program places a uniformed law enforcement officer, reporting to their respective agencies, in each middle school, and two officers in each county high school. A number of officers also serve as DARE officers, and split duties among the school system’s elementary schools.

“Corporal Meadows has a great working relationship with East Coweta High School,” said Crook. “I’ve received numerous complements from parents and teachers in reference to his professionalism and the job he does there. The students and ECHS feel comfortable enough with him to bring him their concerns, and genuinely respect the job he does. He greatly deserves to be recognized in this way.”

Crook has worked with the SRO program in Coweta schools since 1994.

“We’re a resource to the school and to students, but it isn’t just a way to maintain a safe school. It’s an opportunity for students to see law enforcement early on in a very positive light,” said Crook. “SROs develop a rapport with students and parents and teachers, and in turn they get to know us as people. Students will come to us and tell us things that they might not tell a counselor or a teacher. They can come to see an SRO as a strong, positive role model.”