CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - School resource officer Danny Baker is no stranger to winning high honors for his work as an SRO. Last year, he was named North Carolina’s State School Resource Officer of the Year, but this year he’s been chosen as the best in the country; National School Resource Officer of the Year.
“That’s my biggest thing; relationships," says Baker.
You can find Baker in the hallways each week at Newton-Convoer Middle school, keeping the students and the campus, safe. But he says is job, goes beyond that.
“Just be in the hallway, be a presence," says Baker. "When I see the kids I always like to speak to them.. and just be normal. Just love on ‘em a little bit.”
Officer Baker says in his five years here at the middle school, not only has he impacted the kids lives, but they’ve also impacted his.
“I interact with them and develop that relationship with him, and it even helps me when I’m on the road because in the summer time I am a road officer,” says Baker. "I’ve gone on calls where it was kind of emotional and when I get on scene they see ‘Officer Baker’, because they know me from here, even parents, the stress levels go down because I’m a familiar face.”
Inside and outside the classroom, Baker says its his duty to ensure his Newton-Conover Middle family is safe not just physically, but on an emotional level, by helping kids, with what they may be going through.
“My first year here, interestingly enough, we had a kid, who was kind of impoverished and we were just talking," says Baker. "He has some things going on here at school, behavioral issues, so, in talking with him kind of as a reward for good behavior, I said, ‘Man, what do you like?’ and he said he likes pop-tarts, I said ‘really?’ And he said ‘yeah, I like the ones with the frosting on them’, I said OK.”
Little did Officer Baker know, that one pop-tart, would start a tradition.
“So now, I keep a stock for everybody.”
Going the extra mile, that’s why those who work side by side Officer Baker every day, say his new title National School Resource Officer of the Year—fits him so well.
“I mean, it’s a tremendous honor and I’m really humbled by receiving such a high award and again, I don’t think I do anything different than any other school resource officer, we come here and we love on the kids a little bit.”
Baker is heading to Pigeon Forge at the end of June, that’s where the award ceremony will be when he is officially given the title hes won as National School Resource Officer of the Year.