MUNCIE, Ind. — A Muncie policeman is receiving national recognition for his work as a school resource officer.
Brandon Qualls, a Muncie Police Department officer since 2012, also works part-time as a security officer at Northside Middle School.
Qualls was recently named MCS school resource officer of the year, and then learned that another honor is coming his way.
At its annual convention this summer, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) will present the Muncie officer with an “exceptional service” award.
Only about a half-dozen officers nationwide receive that honor each year.
Qualls said last week he was “blown away” when he learned about the award.
“I was speechless,” he added.
Charles Hensley, a retired MPD officer who is now MCS chief of security and operations, nominated Qualls for the NASRO recognition.
“He cares,” Hensley said of Qualls’ interactions with Northside students and staff.
Along with providing security at the school, Hensley noted Qualls takes on many other responsibilities at Northside.
“He’s in the classroom, talking to the kids about why to stay (in school),” Hensley said, recalling Qualls explained to students how he uses math skills in his MPD duties investigating traffic accidents.
“He puts it at a level they understand,” he said.
Qualls has also given presentations – to both students and teachers – on a a variety of topics, including Internet and firearm safety. He’s also visited classroom to discuss drug abuse with students.
But his dealings with the kids are also decidedly light-hearted at times.
Hensley said the stress of ISTEP testing at Northside was reduced by the apparent appearance at the school of Elvis Presley, who looked suspiciously like the school resource officer.
“I love working (at Northside) because I can interact with those kids and I can make a positive impact on them there,” Qualls said in an interview in February. “I think it’s important to show them we’re human.”
Qualls’ interest in police work came naturally.
His father, Bruce, is in the process of retiring from the Muncie Police Department after 34 years as a full-time officer.
“My dad was my hero growing up,” Brandon Qualls – who with his wife, Jamie. has two sons and, as of April 20, a daughter – said. “He still is.”
Bruce Qualls called his son “a good policeman.”
“And he’s very conscientious,” the elder Qualls said. “He’s probably sharper than I was at that age.”
Source: The (Muncie) Star Press, http://tspne.ws/2sKeb1P
Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com
This is an Indiana Exchange story shared by The (Muncie) Star Press.