- Westridge Elementary
Four New Safety Officers Hired to Assist in Rockwood Schools
May 15, 2023
At the May 4 meeting, the Rockwood Board of Education approved the hire of four new school safety officers for the Rockwood School District.
One safety officer has been hired for each quadrant of the district. The school safety officers will be armed and assigned a district vehicle that is marked as Rockwood security. The primary focus of the school safety officers will be covering elementary schools within their assigned quadrant, but they may be called upon to assist at other schools or buildings.
Rockwood currently has 13 school resource officers (SROs) who are assigned to district middle and high schools but are available to assist at elementary schools within their jurisdiction. The new school safety officers will start July 1.
“This will not impact a single SRO agreement with any of the municipalities that we have in this district,” Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain said during a March presentation to the Board. “The new school safety officers are going to work in conjunction with our existing SROs and provide an additional layer of support and security presence in our schools. Safety is a top priority in Rockwood, and we are always looking for ways to improve the safety of our schools, buildings and campuses.”
Get to know Rockwood’s new school safety officers!
Joseph Early is currently stationed at the Wildwood precinct of the St. Louis County Police.
"After working as a St. Louis County Police Officer for the past 25 years, I am so pleased and proud to help protect the students and staff as part of the Rockwood School Safety Team,” he said.
Zeus Hernandez is currently an officer in the Chesterfield Police Department and was a 2016 ROSE Award recipient for his work as an SRO at Wild Horse Elementary.
“I am excited to continue serving the students, parents and staff of the Rockwood School District!” he said. “Safety and security are personal priorities of mine. Rest assured that your students will be able to learn in a safe and secure environment. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me: I am here for you! I look forward to meeting you!"
Mark Tinkham has served with the Eureka Police Department for 26 years.
“I am excited, honored and grateful to join with the Rockwood School District in its proactive approach to school safety,” he said. “I look forward to working with all the students, staff and administrators in the coming school year.”
David Weiss is currently serving with the Chesterfield Police Department and has 44 years of law enforcement experience.
“I can think of no greater way to continue the next chapter of life than to provide for the safety and security of the faculty, students and staff of the Rockwood School District,” he said. “Some of my fondest memories of my career are associated with my years serving as a school resource officer. I now look forward with great anticipation to once again being a part of the learning environment.”