During the annual Baltimore County Public Schools Safe Schools Conference, the school system announced that Officer Carlos Allen, the school resource officer (SRO) for the Essex Precinct, was named the elementary-level School Resource Officer of the Year.
While each BCPS middle and high school has a full-time SRO, at the elementary level, one officer from each precinct provides support to the elementary schools in that area. Officer Allen serves 16 BCPS elementary schools – more than any other SRO serves.
According to school leaders, in his first year in the role, Officer Allen has excelled at becoming an integral member of all the school communities he serves. In addition to monitoring the schools, mentoring students, and assisting when issues or crimes occur, he has handled child abuse cases, made home visits to deliver important documents to families, and participated in school activities. For example, at Sandalwood Elementary, he spoke during the school’s Career Day. At Mars Estates Elementary, he was a guest reader on Read Across America Day. And he participated in the holiday Shop with a Cop initiative with students from Deep Creek Elementary.
In recommending Officer Allen for the honor, Seneca Elementary Principal Jason Feiler wrote, “When entering the building, he always greets students with a smile and works to reinforce the positive role of police in the community. He establishes positive relationships with school staff and is always accessible to discuss situations or address concerns in the school building. When interacting with parents, Officer Allen is supportive and helps parents to better understand the role of the school and SRO in addressing issues.”
Sandalwood Elementary Assistant Principal Colleen Fitzmaurice wrote, “Officer Allen has an opportunity to meet with and interact with many of our families during arrival and dismissal. To help alleviate parent anxiety with the changes made to our response plan toward an intruder in the building and the addition of police presence within elementary schools, Officer Allen held a parent meet and greet at the beginning of the year.” She also noted that, “When he visits our school, he is often walking through the classrooms checking in on our students and providing encouragement. He knows students and calls them by name, often explaining his job to the younger students in our building who look up in awe at him, or using humor and conferencing to deescalate students.”
Officer Allen’s supervisor, Corporal German, wrote that all 16 principals Officer Allen serves “said they can see the positive influence that he has had on the students as a mentor and positive role model.” Corporal German describes Officer Allen as someone with “tenacity, compassion, and a sense of duty.”