WEST POINT – West Point students will see a new friendly face this year patrolling the hallways.
Officer Tim Sawyer, of Gloucester, was recently hired as a full-time school resource officer (SRO) for West Point Public Schools, making him the only SRO in the division.
"We wanted to make the position full-time so that Officer Sawyer would have time to go over to the elementary school, so he could cover all three schools," said West Point Interim Police Chief Bobby Mawyer.
Currently, West Point Middle and High schools share a building, while West Point Elementary School is in a separate, nearby building.
According to Mawyer, Sawyer was hired to work during school hours and special school events, as well as aid the department when school is not in session. Sawyer will most likely work special events in town, including the upcoming Crab Carnival.
"We are very fortunate to have someone of Officer Sawyer's caliber working with the students, faculty and staff in our school system. He will be a tremendous asset to our schools and our community," Mawyer said.
Sawyer's position is being funded through the police department's budget, without any grants.
Sawyer is a Newport News native, but has resided in Gloucester County for the past 17 years.
After graduating from Denbigh High School, Sawyer attended Thomas Nelson Community College, where he received an Emergency Medical Technician Certificate.
Sawyer also served his country in the Army Reserves as a heavy equipment mechanic.
Previous to becoming a law enforcement officer, Sawyer worked in the aerospace industry conducting research and development as a wind tunnel model technician. He was involved in the space shuttle program and many national and international fighter jet programs.
Sawyer owned and operated a residential construction company for seven years, but changed careers in 2011, after he graduated from the Newport News Police Training Academy.
Sawyer served the citizens of Newport News as a patrol officer previous to becoming the West Point Public Schools' SRO.