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Greensboro SRO: "I wish I could have faced the Newtown gunman."

9:32 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-- Sgt. Heard with the Greensboro Police Department is the SRO supervisor. He's been a mentor, counselor, and friend to Greensboro youth.

In the weeks following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, districts in the Triad are talking about school security.

A big part of school security lies on school resource officers. However, they are much more than armed guards.

News 2 Liz Crawford spoke with Sgt. Jonathan Heard, who's been an SRO in Greensboro for several years. He's been with GPD for 30 years and is now supervisor of the SRO program.

Heard said it's the best job he's ever had because it allows him to help young people.

"When I was younger, I didn't have those types of resource officers and what I hoped someone would have given me in my time of coming up, I try to give that to those kids. They might be missing some things in their house whether that's domestic abuse, dealing with alcoholism in their community or family or don't understand the educational importance," said Heard.

Sgt. Heard was an SRO at Dudley High School for 5 years. Three of the students he met there are now Greensboro police officers.

"So I'd like to think that some of the interactions that we had in my past, my experiences with them, has guided them," Heard said about influencing his former students.

In the month following the tragedy in Newtown, Sgt. Heard has thought about expanding the role of SROs. He thought about the difference an SRO could have made in Newtown.

"We would have been front and center whether we had a chance or not. I would like to have the opportunity to face the gunman and put my life before them, before they take any children," added Heard.

WFMY News 2

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