RANDOLPH COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office houses one recipient of the 2022 Rookie Prevention Resource Officer of the Year.
Sergeant Danny Pennington has been with the sheriff’s office for eight years and became a PRO officer in August of 2021.
He has been recognized by the West Virginia Prevention Resource Officer program for his outstanding actions and efforts within the schools in Randolph County.
“It felt natural to me to be able to hang out with these kids, and just do the right thing, be able to talk to them if they need somebody to talk to, and it just, it felt good, it felt right to me, but it was never my intention to go above and beyond anything, I just felt it was my job, and that’s what I was put here to do,” said Pennington.
Among many other things, Pennington has purchased Christmas gifts for less fortunate kids, and gathered and delivered materials to a family that experienced a hardship. He and PRO Officer Rocky Hebb worked together, with the help of other deputies in Randolph County, to hold basketball games against 8th graders in the schools within the county. Pennington, Hebb and Randolph County Sheriff Robert Elbon Jr. have all told 12 News that those basketball games help to build a more fun relationship with kids before they enter high school. For all the efforts that Pennington has put forth since he became a PRO officer, he was selected to receive the 2022 PRO Rookie of the Year.
“He’s not just sitting here, walking around the school, being a police officer,” said Nick Alfred, Elkins Middle School principal. “He’s part of our staff, he’s communicating with the kids he talks to parents. He was the State Rookie PRO Officer of the Year, so we’re very proud of him for his accomplishments, and he’s contributed to our success here. He’s lessened some of the incidents regarding cyberbullying, I think that was a big key that he brought to use this year.”
Sergeant Pennington’s home school is Elkins Middle, but he said he spends as much time as he can in the elementary schools, building relationships with the younger kids. Randolph County Sheriff Robert Elbon Jr. said that the purpose of the PRO program is to build relationships with the kids while they are younger, so they are already familiar with the officers when they reach high school.