Sylvania school resource officer position newly filled

John Seals the new resource officer for Sylvania High School.

John Seals is a husband, father, coach and a DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy. Seals is the new School Resource Officer at Sylvania High School. He has been in law enforcement for 16 years and has also served six years in the military.

In 2007, Seals became well-known in the media for being the officer who arrested a woman on a horse for D.U.I. Everyone from Jay Leno to Good Morning America and even into Canada reported the event.

“She had illegal drugs in her saddlebags and ran from me,” said Seals. “She was trying to dispose of the drugs by throwing them in a pond, but I was able to apprehend her.”

While many folks got a good laugh at the situation of chasing a suspect who was on horseback, Seals has been faced with criminals at gunpoint on more than one occasion and knows just how serious a situation can become for anyone in law enforcement.

Even though Seals is new to the position of SRO at Sylvania, he was already familiar with many of the students there due to coaching many different types of sports.

“Many of the children at the school have been in my home and already knew me,” said Seals. “They already knew they could come to me and trust me.”

Seals said it is very important to him to have a connection with the children because he has seen such a drastic change in parenting skills over his 16 years on the force. “I see children who simply are not getting the love and discipline they need to be productive in society,” said Seals.

One part of serving as an SRO is the responsibility of teaching the D.A.R.E. program. This program is designed to educate children regarding controlled substances and violent behaviors. It also teaches children useful tools regarding bullying, suicide prevention, domestic violence and focuses on healthy decision making. The program was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 and is taught to fifth graders.

Future plans are to implement the Criminal Justice program to tenth and eleventh graders to educate them about potential careers in public service employment.

Officer Seals said he enjoys his new position as SRO and hopes to make a positive impact on the children’s lives he sees everyday.

John’s Motto; “Remember what you did today so you don’t make the same mistake tomorrow.”

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.

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