Baldwin County, AL (WALA) — School Resource Officers make campuses safer for our children and like teachers, they have the chance to touch the lives of the kids around them. Many SROs at Baldwin County schools are new to the job, but are already making connections. One in particular is doing so in a way you might not expect.
Braylon Henson is a first-grader at Bay Minette Elementary and like most six-year-olds he loves to play, but when it’s time for PE and outdoor recess, he’s often left out. School Resource Officer, Ronald Saladin with the Bay Minette Police Department noticed and was compelled to do something.
“He was always curious just like every other child. ‘What’s all on your belt?’ ‘What do you have?’ Stuff like that,” Saladin said. “I just got to talking with him and we had a lot in common like playing the drums and stuff. Then I was told by the counselor what his condition was. It all made sense why he couldn’t go outside and play with his classmates.”
Braylon has a skin condition that causes him to overheat easily. Because of that, he often has to stay indoors when his friends go out to play. Officer Saladin bought him his very own uniform, gave him a badge and now they patrol the halls together during those times. Since this partnership started, Braydon’s teachers and family have noticed a positive change in his school work and social skills.
“He’s improving on his school work. He’s actually doing his assignments in the morning. Teacher says, ‘Hey, you do this and you can go patrol with Officer Saladin.’ He’s like, ‘I’ll do it.’ He listens and we’re learning about being nice. He’s actually being nicer to students,” Saladin explained.
Braylon’s mother, Jamie Wright is grateful her son is getting this unique chance to socialize with the other students and said she’s also seen a positive change in his attitude.
“It made me feel like overjoyed and just happy that someone took the time to do something so special for him and it just brought joy to me,” Wright said. “I was so happy and he was so excited about it.”
It’s a job that Braylon takes seriously. The patrols include checking in on classrooms for cleanliness, stopping running in the halls and even occasionally helping to direct traffic in the mornings. So everyone at Bay Minette Elementary take note. Officer Braylon is on the job and he means business.
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