EATON — A pair of veteran officers were recently named Officer of the Year by the Eaton Police Division.
Anthony Schmidt and Pete Wray, both who serve as School Resource Officers for the Eaton Community School District, were nominated by their peers and selected by their supervisors for their work in 2020.
“At our annual meeting, we have at the end of January, and probably at the very beginning January we sent out an email just asking all the officers if they want to nominate someone. So then supervision will review the nominations and make a decision,” Eaton Police Chief Steve Hurd said.
Officer Schmidt has been with the EPD for 18 years, serving a patrolman until taking on the SRO role in 2019.
“The biggest factor why him and Pete were chosen was out of detectives, patrol and even administration staff and everything that everyone does here, we get more compliments, more appreciation on the SRO’s than anywhere else,” Hurd said. “So I hear a lot of positive feedback, not only from the school staff, but from parents as well. And a lot of the students. So I think the biggest factor for our decision was that they are doing a great job at fostering those relationships with staff, students and even parents.”
Officer Wray has been with EPD for 20 years, working as a patrolman for the first three years before being promoted to detective and eventually taking on the SRO role.
“Pete was an excellent patrol officer for three years and to make detective that’s really quick. He was even a better detective. So yeah, Pete does a fantastic job here and him and Anthony are both very personable,” Hurd said.
The relationship with among the schools is valuable for both.
“Officer Wray has been a very valuable addition to our staff at Bruce,” Eaton superintendent Jeff Parker said in a recent evaluation of Wray. “He gets along well with the staff and students and is always looking for ways to help. Teachers will invite him into the classroom and he has built many positive relationships with our students. At times, he provides advice for special circumstances involving student safety at home. Officer Wray has been a very positive addition to the Bruce staff.
“Having Anthony Schmidt as the Resource Officer for the secondary level has had a positive impact for not just the Eaton schools but the greater good for the community. Anthony is service oriented by nature. He has had a knack to build positive trusting relationships, not just with students, but with their families. His ability to build these trusting relationships creates healthy opportunities for the schools to build upon that trust with students and families. He has been the extension to educate and encourage students as individuals to be positive community members,” Parker noted in an evaluation.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr