By John R. Schirmer
A former Nashville Scrapper has come back home.
Andrae Jones became the Nashville School District’s first resource officer when classes began last month.
The school board and Superintendent Doug Graham signed off on the idea of a resource officer during the spring. The district and Nashville Police Department worked together on the selection process.
Jones is a 2004 graduate of Nashville High School. He worked for a time as a jailer before becoming resource officer in the Prescott School District in 2014.
“I wanted to make a difference and bring my kids up in a positive atmosphere,” Jones said of his work in law enforcement and as a resource officer.
He holds a basic training certificate for law enforcement. He’s received active shooter training, bullying training and school resource officer training.
When the job became available in Nashville, “I applied and they gave me a chance,” Jones said.
“I love it. This is home,” Jones said. The district’s new surveillance system “is awesome. We have secure doors. The school has spent a lot of money” on safety measures for students, faculty and staff.
Jones has already utilized the video system in connection with a parking lot accident.
“It’s great to be home. I’m enjoying family and friends. It’s a pleasure,” Jones said.
School has changed “tremendously” since 2004, according to Jones. “Then, you could just walk right onto campus. Classrooms have been remodeled. It’s totally different, especially high school.”
Along with changes in rules and buildings, “The kids are different. I was brought up to say ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir.’”
The Nashville district has “good structure starting with the superintendent,” Jones said.
Jones splits his time among the district’s four campuses. He’s getting to know the buildings and focusing on school safety.
He wants to get to know the students better. “I believe in building rapport with kids,” he said. At some point in the future, “I might start a boys to men” organization.
Jones and his wife Tiera have four children – two
boys and two girls, ranging in age from 10 months to 13 years.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball with his kids and likes to take them fishing. He also enjoys yard work.
Superintendent Graham is pleased with the officer and the new position. “So far, it’s been really good. It’s nice to have a police presence on our campuses. The job he’s doing building rapport with students has been outstanding.”
Graham said Jones’ help “with several situations in the first four weeks of school has been right on spot. This will only get better.
“With the benefits we already see from having him, it will force us to take a strong look at adding a second resource officer,” Graham said.