Randolph County Sheriff’s Office
Robert R. Elbon, Jr., Sheriff
For emergencies, please dial 911
PRO Officers are assigned to schools in Randolph County. The PRO Officers visit several times each month to develop relationships with the children by sitting and talking with them at lunchtime. The kids are taught drug awareness while officers collect information from the children, support staff, teachers, and principal of each school to help keep the schools safe.
ELKINS, WV, Aug 12, 2021 – Students and staff at two area schools will have a reason to feel safer during the upcoming school year, as a pair of Randolph County Sheriff deputies are being assigned as Prevention Resource Officers to the respective facilities.
Sgt. Danny Pennington will be stationed at Elkins Middle School this school year, while Deputy Rocky Hebb will be at Tygarts Valley High School on a daily basis.
The officers are able to be at the schools due mostly to a Division of Justice and Community Services Justice Assistance Grant that the RCSD applied for and received in June.
Randolph County Sheriff Rob Elbon said it wasn’t the grant alone that made the project happen, however.
“What the grant didn’t pay for, the Randolph County School Board picked up, and the Randolph County Commission did the match with the vehicles, training, uniforms and equipment,” [said] Elbon. “So it was quite a collaboration between all parties involved.”
Randolph County had a PRO officer in place years ago, when current Randolph County Magistrate Mike Dyer was a deputy serving at Tygarts Valley High School. Elbon said after taking over as sheriff back in January, one of his main goals was to bring the program back to the county.
“I think this is huge for the schools. We had a PRO officer years and years ago that was stationed at Tygarts Valley High School and it went really well,” Elbon said. “For whatever reason it kind of faded away though. So when I was elected, one of the things I wanted to focus on was our kids and education. Not only does this program provide safety for them, but it helps us build relationships with the kids and let’s [sp.] them know that we are always there to help them.”
Pennington previously worked with youth during a 10-year employment at the West Virginia Children’s Home. He has also coached several area sports teams during the past six years.
“This is a program that’s needed to be in Randolph County for some time now and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the kids,” said Pennington. “Hopefully through this we can get a lot of the kids to trust police officers more. We want them to know that they can come to us with any of their problems, no matter what it is.”
Hebb previously worked as a PRO officer in Upshur County for seven years. He is the program’s regional liaison for Tucker, Upshur, Barbour and Randolph counties. With that title he makes sure to stay in contact with the officers in the other counties to make sure everything is going well, or to see if there is anything they may need.
“I’m very excited to start this program in Randolph County,” said Hebb. “It’s an outstanding program that has had positive results all over West Virginia. And we expected nothing less here in Randolph County. It’s literally where law enforcement and education meet. We want to provide a safe learning environment for all the kids, and a safe working environment for all the staff. And gaining a positive relationship with all the students is also very important to us.”
Although the officers will be stationed at their two respective locations, their jobs allow them to visit other schools in the county, including the grade schools, for educational purposes.
When there is no school during the holidays and summer months, the officers will resume their regular duties with the Sheriff’s Office.”