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WXHS resource officer receives state honor
by MELINDA WILLIAMS | Clipper Staff Writer
Feb 06, 2012 | 653 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODS CROSS OFFICER James Sheldon, flanked by Chief Greg Butler and Principal Steve Park, accepts the School Resource Officer of the Year award. Courtesy Photo
WOODS CROSS OFFICER James Sheldon, flanked by Chief Greg Butler and Principal Steve Park, accepts the School Resource Officer of the Year award. Courtesy Photo
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WOODS CROSS — Woods Cross High School Resource Officer James Sheldon is there for students when they’re in trouble, but also, when they’re successful.

Sheldon, who has served in law enforcement in Davis County for 14 years, was honored last week as the School Resource Officer of the Year by the Utah Council for Crime Prevention.

“I think it’s great. It’s pretty awesome,” Sheldon said of the award, pointing out that nearly every high school in the state has a resource officer.

Sheldon was nominated by the Woods Cross Police Department and Woods Cross High Principal Steve Park.

Since becoming the high school’s resource officer, Sheldon has implemented a number of programs, including the defensive driving class, “Alive at 25.”

He has also started a law enforcement scholarship program and teaches a law enforcement class which has become so popular there’s a waiting list.

When Sheldon was named the school’s resource officer, seat belt usage was only 68 percent. Working with the Utah Highway Patrol, they’ve managed to bring that rate up to 90 percent.

Sheldon is there to handle any problems that might arise, “I still have to be a police officer, but I like to help kids do the best they can. I like to take a negative and make it positive.”

It’s working toward that positive which causes Sheldon to interact with students in many of their pursuits.

“I’m the golf coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams and the boys were the state champions last year,” he said.

Additionally, Sheldon attends athletic events, such as football and basketball and travels with the team. He also travels yearly with the music department to a Heritage Festival in California.

All of that “makes a huge impact,” on Woods Cross students, he said, pointing to a low crime rate at the school.

“Some school resource officers aren’t as involved, and it seems often they have more trouble,” he said.

Sheldon said he takes a special interest in at-risk kids.

“I’m heavily involved with them. I touch base with them every week or two to support them and help make better lives for them.”

During the summer, Sheldon returns to regular duties within the city’s police force, but he also spends time training for his school resource position, attending trainings at the state and national levels to stay up with the trends.

Sheldon recently took on additional responsibilities, serving as a resource officer at Woods Cross Elementary School. He goes there weekly, interacting with the kids mainly during recess, to build trust in police.

He also teaches a class for 6th graders in the LETS program (Law Enforcement Teaching Students) and works with the kids in a community service project.
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