School resource officer enjoying new role

October 2, 2023

Shelby Public Schools SRO Tim Simon pictured with students AJ Melchor, Ivan Fessenden and Trevor Fitzgerald.

School resource officer enjoying new role

‘I care about these kids here and the school system as a whole, because I bleed purple and white.’

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

SHELBY — Oceana County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Simon is thoroughly enjoying his new role as the school resource officer for Shelby Public Schools.

Simon, a 1993 graduate of Shelby High School, is a 26-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. 

“This year after marine season was done starting Aug. 21, I started a new position here with the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office as a new school resource officer to Shelby Public Schools, which for me, hits close to home because this is the school I graduated from and I have a son going to Shelby Public Schools as well. When the position became available through the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, I jumped on the chance to be a school resource officer in the community I am vested in. I care about these kids here and the school system as a whole, because I bleed purple and white. I want to make a difference at our public school system here in Shelby to help mentor a future generation of kids.”

Simon went “back to school” for further training to work in the school system. “I just completed a week-long national school resource officer school through NASRO (National Association of School Resource Officers).

“I learned all kinds of new information about the school in reference to laws and learned several things about school safety to help make our schools here at Shelby safer.

“Sept. 6 I just started my 26th year with Oceana County, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it other than to be here supporting school safety and mentoring kids.”

The SRO has an office in the high school that is going to be renovated to better serve the students who stop in to see him. “I’m going to make the open area in the front a student commons area for kids to pop in. I’m going to let them decorate it and have a couple living room chairs and a coffee table. If they want to stop in and have a pop and just talk, whatever. This is going to be their area — kind of like a living room.”

Simon said he is available before and after school for kids to come in and talk to him. “I have an open door policy. My main goal is that the kids feel like they can approach me. I can build that rapport. So, in the event of any type of emergency situation, they’re not afraid to come to me and talk about something they might not talk about with just anybody. I want to establish that trust with them that they can come to me about anything.”

Shelby Public Schools and the Shelby Police Department were awarded a Michigan State Police – Cops in Schools grant last January for $165,232 over three years. 

With the shortage of police officers statewide, Shelby Police Chief Dean Roesler approached the sheriff’s office in June to see if the sheriff’s office might be able to assist by staffing the position. “They, like many other agencies, are short staffed and unable to fill vacancies,” said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast. 

“Deputy Simon is a well-known deputy in our community where he currently lives with his wife (Annie) and two sons (Nick and Chase).” Chase is a SHS sophomore. “Deputy Simon has been in charge of our marine division for 19 years and does a fantastic job.” 

Simon is also a car seat technician and a hunter education instructor for the sheriff’s office. 

“Deputy Simon has been an assistant varsity baseball coach, and it’s not a stretch to say he bleeds purple,” said Sheriff Mast. Simon works with head coach Brian Wright who was his coach when he was in high school. “Not only did I have him for a coach, but I get to coach with him.”

“Our goal with this program is to make another one of our schools a safer place for our students. There are SRO programs in Pentwater and Hart already, and we are excited that Shelby also has a law enforcement presence. Establishing positive relationships with students and staff will be the number one priority. We are thankful for Mr. (Mark) Olmstead and the SPS staff who have helped this partnership.”

“I couldn’t feel more welcome here,” said Simon. “The students and the staff have made me feel really welcome and that my position is wanted here and that I am wanted in the school.”

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