Honored for stopping a possible school shooting.
Williamstown High Schools' Prevention Resource Officer is awarded.
At the beginning of the 2011 school year, Deputy Scott Jefferson received a call at his home from a Williamstown student. The student explained another student was making threats about bringing weapons to school and using them.
Deputy Jefferson took action. Authorities then did find evidence the student planned to act on the threats.
"We're very proud that he is proactive versus reactive," explains Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy. "What he did in 2011 being proactive, he did not take the situation for granted, he acted on it quickly, and made the right decisions."
Jefferson was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Justice and Community Services.
"It feels very good," says Deputy Jefferson. "I feel very proud for the school and for the community and for the Sheriff's Department but I feel a lot prouder for the individual that contacted me because that's the true hero in my eyes of why we're all still here today."
The School and Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy say it's reassuring to know Deputy Jefferson has earned the respect and trust of the students. "The fact that Mr. Jefferson can develop relationships with our students where they can come to him and talk to him is huge and it's a very valuable asset for our school," explains Williamstown's acting principal, Randy Edge.
"Outside the school when they come up to me all the time, even parents, that they're happy with me being at the school," explains Deputy Jefferson. "I'm personally happy that there's an officer at the school whether it's myself or someone else."
But Jefferson explains while the job is rewards, situations like this remind him of the difficulties of it all. "Having to make these difficult decisions you know if the child has made some mistake that is actually a law mistake, then the unfortunate thing is something then we do have to charge them with a crime, which I hate to have to do but ultimately that my job and that's the way it goes. The other difficulties is the responsibility that I put on my own shoulders personally. If I'm not here or if I just happen to not answer that phone call that night, where we'd be today."
"In this situation he definitely stepped up and protected a lot of people but the everyday running of the school, helping with students, the programs he gets involved in, it gives students an outlet to go to to talk to people, so that's a huge part of the everyday running of our school," explains Principal Edge.
Sheriff Jeff Sandy says he's happy to see the Prevention Resources Program working for so many schools, not just in this situation, but everyday. "That students learn that a law enforcement officer is more than just giving them a speeding citation or arresting them or criticizing them, that he's here to build them up, to make them a better person for society."