DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Students in Davidson County Schools will return to the classroom in four days and notice new faces on campus.

For the first time this year, elementary schools will have school resource officers. Sheriff Richie Simmons fought hard to get the funding for these positions and to find people to fill them.

There are seven SROs, who are each assigned to three of the 18 elementary schools in the district. Some have previous experience in schools. Others don’t. But they all understand the importance of protecting your kids.

“I’m going to be there for them,” Corporal Corbin Robinson said. “While they’re there, they’re mine, and I take it very personal.”

Robinson’s is one of the faces Davidson County parents might see when dropping their kids off at school this year.

“I’m hoping to be at car rider line every morning, every evening at one of my three elementary schools, and be there as much as possible,” he said. “I want every kid to know my name, know who I am and know that I’m there for them.”

The visibility is most important to the school resource officers, who are typically placed in middle and high schools.

“I have three kids myself that are in the school systems, and the past 25 years of school shootings and issues at schools … elementary schools in particular are the most vulnerable population,” said Deputy Matt Jackson, who retired from the State Highway Patrol and took this position to be an elementary school SRO.

Jackson hopes his presence on campus can prevent another tragedy like we saw in Uvalde, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. Beyond that, he wants to build relationships.

“Smaller children are more impressionable, and we may be able to steer them into a path of success versus the exact opposite of that,” Jackson said.

The SROs also want to give students role models to look up to who look like them.

“I love that my kids get to see that I’m law enforcement, and they get that positive interaction, but I know there are kids that don’t, and I love that I’m going to be able to set that example for those kids,” said Deputy Megan Beasley, who will start her second year as an SRO.

So when you see these faces at school, make sure to say “hi.”

“We’ll high five and little knuckle bumps and all the good stuff,” Beasley said.

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Even those small interactions can make a big difference.

These SROs want to emphasize they are more than the badges and uniforms they wear. They’re people. They’re parents.

They want you and your children to feel comfortable coming to them with any questions or concerns.