‘Seeing the kids smile is my reward for the job’

Josh Wigley is the resource officer at the DeKalb County Technology Center in Rainsville.

DeKalb County Technology Center welcomed Josh Wigley as their new School Resource Officer this year. Wigley has been in law enforcement for 11 years. His career involves working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Rainsville Police Department. He has served as a patrolman, a sergeant and an assistant chief.

Wigley said he has known most of his life this was the career for him, but certain people helped him stay the course. “Rene Ramos, who also served in law enforcement, was one of the people who inspired me,” said Wigley.

Part of Wigley’s training includes courses such as Domestic Preparedness and Preventive Measurement’s class. Various scenarios are presented to the law enforcement students such as how to handle chemical agents and explosives. He also took Drug Abuse Resistance Education program training to enable him to teach the D.A.R.E. course to fifth graders.

“The hardest part of the D.A.R.E. training is learning to teach,” said Wigley. “Law enforcement I already knew, it’s learning how to make lesson plans and outlines that I was not familiar with, but it is worth it knowing that this might help some children to avoid taking drugs.”

The D.A.R.E. program does more than just help young people to not take drugs, it helps them understand the importance of making good choices, consequences, peer pressure, and bullying. “The model we follow for D.A.R.E. is Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate,” said Wigley.

Wigley said his participation in Youth Day in the Park and Christmas for Kids are two events he particularly enjoyed. “The Christmas for Kids is where we get to make sure less fortunate children have a good Christmas,” said Wigley.

The pandemic has made things harder when it comes to relating to the students said Wigley. Part of an SROs role is to form a good connection with the children so as they grow into adulthood they will know the police are not against them. Wigley said wearing a mask makes it difficult to see the students facial expressions and for them to see his and he will be glad when the need for masks is over. “Seeing the kids smile is my reward for the job,” said Wigley.

Josh’s Motto: “It is what it is.”

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

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