WILLIAMSTOWN - Wood County Deputy Scott Jefferson received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Service on Oct. 24.
Jefferson is the Prevention Resource Officer (PRO) at Williamstown High School. He received the award for his actions on Sept. 22.
According to the report, on Sept. 22 Jefferson received a phone call from a Williamstown High School student around midnight, officials said. The student advised Jefferson that a juvenile WHS student had been on a private chat with another WHS student stating he/she was planning to take a gun to the high school the next day.
Jefferson said the student allegedly said he would kill about 100 people and then himself/herself. He began working on a search warrant for the juvenile's residence. The search warrant was executed and the juvenile was taken into custody for a hearing before a judge.
Officials said because the juvenile was placed into custody classes went on without interruption that day. Since the incident, the juvenile has been secured in a facility and is receiving treatment.
The award was presented by senior justice program specialist Bonnie Bevers, said Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy.
The PRO Program is a "cooperative effort between schools and law enforcement to improve the students' attitudes and knowledge of criminal justice and law enforcement," Sandy said.
The program prevents juvenile delinquency, mentors youth, provides a safer school environment and combine safety and child advocacy by assuring a better school experience for all West Virginia youth, Sandy said.
The three main components of the PRO Program are prevention, mentoring and safety:
- Prevention: Officers facilitate classes on non-traditional educational topics such as juvenile law, domestic violence, underage drinking, drug and alcohol prevention, child abuse and neglect.
- Mentoring: Officers are trained on how to be a positive mentor to students they interact with daily.
- Safety: Officers are trained to recognize potential danger, prevent violence, and to respond to dangerous school situations.
The PRO Program places certified West Virginia police officers who are also certified prevention resource officers in local middle and high schools.