Making A Positive Impact–Every Day
When you think of a School Resource Officer you think of someone who’s there to keep the school and students safe.
Officer Paula Wilson doesn’t stop there. She walks the halls of Moultrie Middle School, clad in her uniform chatting with students on their way to class. There are over 800 children at the school and she knows many by name; it’s clear her presence is a staple—to students and faculty.
Assistant Principal Ryan Giles is quick to sing Wilson’s praises noting, “She’s an amazing resource officer and it’s obvious she cares about every student’s success. We call on her expertise in a variety of situations.”
Growing up, Wilson knew she wanted to help people. She majored in Criminal Justice, imagining herself in the FBI. After graduation, she visited a friend in Mount Pleasant and fell in love with the community. In 1997, she was hired by the Mount Pleasant Police Department and she hasn’t looked back.
For the first two years of her career, Wilson served as a patrol officer followed by a three-year stint as a resource officer, and later as a detective for 13 years investigating crimes involving children, the elderly, and those with mental health issues.
“I always found myself gravitating toward those who can’t advocate for themselves,” Wilson says.
Eventually, Wilson’s desire for a more reliable schedule led her back to the schools. Before that, Wilson and her husband, Bob Wilson, a corporal in the Mount Pleasant Police Department and a member of the Navy Reserves, were oftentimes both on call. Their schedules made home life challenging, to say the least, for them and their five and six-year old sons.
Now, the family has more opportunities to spend time together.
“We love being outside, going to the county parks and swimming. With two energetic boys, pretty much anything is active. We also have a black lab and go to Short Stay, the military campground,” Wilson adds.
At work, all days are different.
“We work with youth on law-related education, getting them comfortable with law-enforcement presence and counseling for things like bullying prevention, while keeping the campus safe. Let’s just say I get my steps in every day,” Wilson says.
Outside of the school, Wilson serves on a critical incident response team where she’s on call for negotiating with those in crisis situations.
She also serves alongside the Police Department, involved in community oriented programs; a summer safety camp for elementary students, a relationship-building camp for at-risk youth and a program where officers assist senior citizens with their yardwork and household duties.
“We want to have a positive presence in both schools and the community that make the youth and parents comfortable to interact with us,” Wilson says.
Between her day job and community outreach, Wilson’s contributions don’t go unnoticed. She most certainly reflects the positivity she and her colleagues strive for, making an impact – every day.