SRO Deputy under investigation after middle school incident

    An incident involving an Amelia school resource officer/deputy is being investigated by the Amelia County Sheriff's Office following an incident at the middle school that occurred Wednesday (Nov. 19). The deputy submitted his resignation the following morning (Thursday, Nov. 20).

    Deputy Ian McDonald was assigned as the SRO at Amelia County Middle School in April. The long-time deputy was named to that position to replace former SRO/deputy John Harmon who was dismissed by Sheriff Ricky Walker. At that time Sheriff Walker was quoted as saying Mr. Harmon's dismissal was made in the best interests of the office..

    The sheriff's office has issued a release that does not name Deputy McDonald but said, in part, “The conduct described including an angry outburst and the use of inappropriate language. The incident evolved after a student threw a grape and struck the deputy in the back of the head.”

    The Monitor has learned long-time Deputy McDonald was eating lunch with students in the school's cafeteria Wednesday. Several students were teasing the deputy, attempting to grab his equipment from his belt. After he repeatedly warned the students to desist, the deputy got up from his seat and walked away. That is when one of the students allegedly threw a grape, hitting the deputy on the back of the head. Deputy McDonald allegedly responded with the inappropriate language described in the sheriff's office's press release.

    According to Sheriff Ricky Walker, Deputy McDonald has been removed from his duties as SRO and the sheriff's office is investigating the incident.

    Sheriff Walker released this statement, “As sheriff of Amelia, I feel that the professional behavior of all deputies is important to our community relations. All officers of the Amelia sheriff's office should present themselves as positive role models to all citizens they serve.”     

   Sheriff Walker said he will circulate an inter-office memo to see if any of the serving deputies are interested in the now vacant middle school SRO position.

    Amelia County Public Schools' Superintendent Jack McKinley assured The Monitor, " The student behavior was investigated and addressed by the middle school administration."



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