Wilson County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer (SRO) Justin Witherspoon will be honored with his own Appreciation Day on Friday at Elzie D. Patton Elementary School in Mt. Juliet.
Elzie D. Patton Principal Wilma J. Hawkins designated Friday as SRO Appreciation Day for Witherspoon due to his professionalism. He has assisted the school in numerous ways during his three-year tenure there. Most recently, he assisted with a "soft lockdown" to ensure students and staff were kept safe following a gun store robbery by several individuals who took numerous weapons and fled on foot. Witherspoon was also instrumental in ensuring all safety precautions were taken during a bomb threat during the first week of school.
"From our traffic school issues, attending all of our evening family events, to the bomb threat and then the lockdown, you always go above and beyond your expected duty to take care of Elzie Patton," Hawkins said in a note to the school and the WCSO SRO. "You are always professional and very knowledgeable of how we should handle things when it comes to safety and the law. You are so willing to pitch in and help no matter what the task may be. We are so grateful you are here with us each day."
Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said he is extremely grateful and proud of all the SROs throughout the county. SRO Lt. Scott Moore said he felt the county is well protected through the use of highly trained SROs like Witherspoon.
Witherspoon, who has worked at the WCSO for eight years, said he was "surprised and completely taken aback" when informed the school wished to honor him with the SRO Appreciation Day.
"I was very honored to be recognized," he said. "I was just doing what I'm supposed to be doing."