I reprinted the below text from the Glynn County, Georgia School District website. We had the privilege of working on a Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grant with the district last year and I had the opportunity to work with the district’s police chief Rod Ellis and several other officers from the department. I know that Chief Ellis must be and should be extremely proud of the work of these outstanding police officers. As Chief Ellis mentions, the winners of this prestigious award are selected by their brother and sister officers from across the state. We congratulate Officers Hope and Hopper on their selfless actions, their superb work and for this recognition from their peers.
Officers Mark Hopper and Shane Hope of the Glynn County Schools Police Department recently received the Officers of the Year for Valor Award from the Peace Officers’ Association of Georgia (POAG) for their response to an incident at Brunswick High School on the first day of school in August 2010. The award was presented at the POAG annual conference at Sea Palms on St. Simons Island in late September.
While investigating two vehicle break-ins at BHS, a parent of the owner of one of the vehicles came to the school and confronted the officers. Hope watched the man as he returned to his truck, reached inside and put something in his waistband, which turned out to be a loaded 9 mm handgun. The man then continued to confront the officers, becoming more and more enraged. Recognizing that the man was carrying a weapon, Hope and Glynn County Schools Police Chief Rod Ellis, who had just arrived on the scene, drew their weapons and ordered the man to disarm. With the man refusing to cooperate, Hopper moved in behind him and disarmed him without any weapons being fired.
“Officers Hope and Hopper used their training to diffuse an extremely intense situation without anyone being harmed,” said Ellis, who nominated the two for the POAG award. “I was very impressed with their actions. Had Officer Hope not keyed into what was happening when the man retrieved the weapon from his truck, the end result could have been very different.”
Ellis noted that this was the first time that the POAG Valor Award had ever been presented to a school resource officer. “SROs are certified peace officers in the state of Georgia and they carry the same responsibilities as other law enforcement officers. It is gratifying to know that our colleagues around the state recognized and appreciated the professionalism with which Officers Hope and Hopper handled this situation at Brunswick High School.”