Release Date: 6/13/2018
Contact: Office of Communications, 443.809.5908

BCPS surprises two school resource officers with SRO of the Year awards

Officers assigned to Deer Park Middle Magnet School and George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology honored

Towson, MD – No day is ever exactly like another for a school resource officer (SRO), but today was particularly surprising and rewarding for two of Baltimore County’s best SROs. They were caught off guard by a prize patrol that came to their schools to tell them that they had been selected as the middle and high school SROs of the Year.

Officer Lee Brown of George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology and Officer Jon Gill of Deer Park Middle Magnet School were honored by Baltimore County Public Schools in collaboration with the Baltimore County Police Department. SROs are Baltimore County police officers stationed at every BCPS middle and high school to ensure the maintenance of safe and orderly learning environments.

Officer First Class Lee Brown

Officer Brown
Brown has been an SRO for nine years, two of those at Carver Center. In addition to monitoring the building, mentoring youth, and responding to conflicts, Brown has offered classroom presentations on bullying, robbery prevention, DUI/DWI consequences, and drug trends/awareness. He involves himself fully in the life of the school, participating in open house events for freshman and the annual back to school night for all students. He is a presence at basketball games, dances, fashion shows, proms, and graduation. This school year, Brown played a key role in ensuring that student walkouts (in response to school shootings around the nation) were safe.

Fourteen individuals – including his supervisor, teachers, counselors, school secretaries, and students – nominated Brown for the SRO of the Year honor or wrote letters of support. Many mentioned how diligently he works to build relationships with students, his willingness to collaborate with teachers, and his efforts to find lost items from earrings to cell phones.

“I believe our students have come to have more respect for the law and what it is to be a police office because of Officer Brown’s example,” wrote Allyson Haley, learning resource department chair. “He will laugh and joke but our students know that he is serious and professional. They know that he is a police officer who will always follow the law, keep them safe, and hold them accountable. I can see in our students a sense of acceptance and calm because they know that Officer Brown is here to protect them.”

Officer First Class Jonathan M. Gill

Officer Gill
As Corporate Michael Smith describes it, Gill has a daunting task as the SRO at Deer Park Middle because of the school’s size: 1,300 students, 100 staff members, a 75,000 sq. ft. building, and 7 acres of property. Beyond providing a security presence, Gill is best known for building relationships with students, staff, and administrators. He teaches D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), coaches the girls’ basketball team (undefeated with a 12-0 record this year), and mentors the boys’ basketball coach. He hosts daily lunch bunches with students to discuss their views and personal concerns. He’s an active supporter of the school’s PTA. Beyond the school, for the past nine years, Gill has led the Police Explorer Post at Precinct 2, mentoring young people interested in law enforcement careers.

“Officer Gill is affectionately known as OG by the staff and students of Deer Park Middle Magnet,” wrote Principal Dr. Kandice Taylor in her nomination from the school’s leadership team. “He is known for his calm demeanor, but he is passionate and committed to seeing success in all students, which is evidenced by his interactions and active support of our students. He is the school resource officer that every principal and school building needs on their team. … He believes in our students and responds to the best in our students even they are not giving us their best. He does not lose sight of their potential and has a mindset that support that our students are learning and growing.”

(Reporters, editors, and producers – Photos of Officers Brown and Gill are attached. Photos of the SRO of the Year ceremonies at Deer Park Middle Magnet School and Carver Center are on Flickr.)

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