Veteran school resource officer comes to Rushwood Elementary

by Laura Bednar

Police Officer Glenn Nicholl came out of retirement to continue to foster a positive attitude within schools as the school resource officer for Rushwood Elementary School in Sagamore Hills.

Nicholl was a Macedonia Police officer for 30 years from 1991 to 2021. He was also the school resource officer for Nordonia High School and Ledgeview Elementary from 2016-2021. He retired from the Macedonia department in July 2021, but decided to return to the role of SRO.

“I always liked helping kids figure out issues and telling them when they make a mistake to take responsibility and learn from it,” said Nicholl. “I’m good at talking and relating with kids.”

He is the first SRO specifically assigned to maintain a daily presence at Rushwood. Sagamore Police officer Dan DeCrane is a certified SRO that has helped out in the past. Nicholl was hired as a part-time officer for the Sagamore Hills Police Department in September 2022 and started his SRO position in October. He took the required 40-hour SRO basic training course in Columbus in 2016.

Rushwood Elementary Principal Dr. Jacqueline O’Mara said, “Officer Nicholl is consistently walking the building, spends time out at recess and the cafeteria, and even takes time to read with students. He has come to Rushwood on his own time attending evening and after-school events, too.”

In addition, he greets the students at arrival in the morning and helps with dismissal at the end of the day. “The kids like to high five and fist bump in the hallway between classes,” said Nicholl. “I like talking to the kids, just a lot of fun at Rushwood.”

O’Mara said Rushwood has had a positive relationship with Sagamore Hills Police Department and that Police Chief David Hayes ensures there is police presence at the school. “It’s terrific to see Sagamore Hills PD officers calling students by their names. They understand the importance of creating connections and establishing positive relationships,” she said.

She noted some of the benefits of school resource officers as maintaining a safe environment, responding to emergencies, communicating safety protocols, and educating students and staff about law enforcement and other related topics.

“By maintaining a visible presence, SROs can identify potential threats. Additionally, they can serve as positive role models for students and help to build trusting relationships between law enforcement and the school community,” O’Mara said.

When asked what he hopes to bring to the position, Nicholl said, “Have the kids know that the police are there to help and protect them; to keep a positive attitude.” ∞