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Perquimans hires veteran law enforcement officer as newest SRO

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By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Friday, August 9, 2019

HERTFORD — When a school resource officer position recently opened at the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office, Stacey Edwards jumped at the chance to apply for it.

The veteran law enforcement officer had already worked for a number of agencies, including Elizabeth City State University for the past year and a half, the Elizabeth City Police Department for eight years before that, and prior to that, for both the Pittsboro Police Department and the Gates County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for about 15 years, and I was looking to expand my law enforcement career,” Edwards said.

There’s also the fact that she already lives in Perquimans County.

“I always like the interaction with the community I am serving,” she said. “Law enforcement is ever changing; it’s not your typical 9-to-5 job.”

When school opens later this month, Edwards will be the school resource officer assigned to Perquimans County Middle School. The 35-year-old mother of 8-year-old twins is looking forward to her new job.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with the students,” she said Friday. “I want to be somebody they can look up to.”

Edwards fills a vacancy created by the departure of former Deputy Brian Watson, who left the Sheriff’s Office to go to work at a Virginia shipyard. He had been the school resource officer at Hertford Grammar School.

Faran Sawyer, who is on maternity leave, is expected back in October. She was the SRO at Perquimans County Middle School last year. Tori Arroyo will serve as the SRO at Hertford Grammar School when school resumes. Sgt. David Murray, the Sheriff’s Office’s chief SRO, works at Perquimans County High School.

Perquimans County is a rarity in that it has an SRO at each of its four schools.

“That is definitely not common, but it’s a great thing,” Edwards said.

The district hired its first school resource officer in 2003. The following year a second SRO was hired, and from 2005 through 2013, the school district was served by two SROs. In 2013, there was just one SRO, but deputies rotated at various schools to provide coverage. In 2016, SRO staffing went back to two officers, and from January 2018 through March, there were three. The fourth SRO position was funded last year.

Edwards is a graduate of Gates County High School. She earned a four-year degree in criminal justice from Elizabeth City State University.