Hand helps keep our schools safe

Published 9:16 am Friday, August 23, 2013

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

School is back in session with the new Alabaster City School System in place. Along with new guidance, a new board, new rules and much anticipation, we are blessed to have School Resource Officers at THS, TMS, the Thompson Intermediate-Sixth Grade Center building, Creek View and Meadow View.

Hand (contributed)

Hand (contributed)

An SRO provides additional security for our students. Very visible and in full uniform, a SRO is Johnny on the spot for any disruption, threat of violence or behavioral problems.

There are two SROs at Thompson High School.

One is Ryan Hand, a Choctaw county native who was hired in January of 2012 from the Opelika Police Department. A graduate of Patrician Academy in Butler and the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in Selma, Hand is also trained through multiple active shooter training courses and NASRO basic training.

Being an ever-present force for prevention of drug transactions and random friction among students take much of an SRO’s time, not to mention his duties in the event of an active shooter situation at the school.

Having met his future wife, Kelly, in November 2007 at University Church of Christ in Auburn, Hand was married in August 2008.

Life took a definite turn on Aug. 22, 2012 when Hand’s wife gave birth to triplets, three girls: Barrie Claire, Annalyn and Evie. Maternal grandparents, Annette and Barry Armstrong of Chelsea, are close enough to help occasionally, but the antics of these three baby girls keep the Hands very busy. Paternal grandparents, Frank and Crystal Hand of Butler have to miss a little of the fun.

“With one already pulling up and all of them crawling, they are loads of fun to watch. One will crawl up to another and just stare” said Hand. “They are such blessings and a lot of responsibility and of course Mommy is a stay at home Mom.”

Officer Hand seems to be a responsible, mature and well-trained policeman. He has our kids and their personal safety at heart and he along with SRO John Kessler will serve THS well.