With the teamwork of Cabell County schools, the Sheriff’s Office, and Huntington and Barboursville Police Department, resource officers have now been placed at all middle schools and high schools within the county after Tuesday night’s board of education meeting.
Milton Middle School now has a full-time resource officer. Deputy Michael Talbott, who is coming up on his seventh year with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office in October. He has spent four of those years with Milton M. D. But, before this school year, was splitting days spent between Milton and Barboursville Middle School.
“We were looking to place somebody in the middle school system, and I requested to be here, it wasn’t an assignment given to me, I asked for it. At the time I had kids, they weren’t small kids, but they were kids and I’ve coached athletics their whole life. I’m a wrestling coach at Hurricane High School and I just wanted to be around kids,” said Talbott.
Now being full-time at Milton M.D., being around these kids is rewarding in the fact that daily interactions with them can possibly have a positive exponential return.
“They could be heading on a certain path but [a kid] I stop in the hallway and help, maybe they look at things a little differently, maybe they are more than willing to talk to somebody at this point, or willing to open up and maybe change that kids life,” said Talbott.
Allowing a resource officer to be available five day a week, 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, allows students to have a helping hand, a safeguard and ultimately a friend.
Today was the third day of school for Cabell County and at Milton Middle School, Talbott said things are off to a good start.
“As you’re talking to them, they don’t know where their classrooms are, so making sure they’re acclimated to their schedule. They know where their classrooms are, but all in all they’ve been pretty solid so far,” said Deputy Michael Talbott.
Parents acknowledge Talbott’s duties and hard work and are grateful he is there with their kids. One mother, Brandy Casto said, “I think it’s a great idea and I think that it does make the parents feel a lot safer, he’s super friendly and he does a really great job and I know he has a really great relationship with the kids.”
New additions to the school-based officer ring, Cabell Count Cpl. Bill Templeton is serving at Huntington Middle School, Barboursville Patrolman Todd Neil is at Barboursville Middle School, and Huntington Police Department allocated personnel to Huntington High School.
Returning resource officers include not only Deputy Michael Talbott, but also Lt. Roman Thompson and Deputy Ron Miller.