CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — Sometimes the job of a school resource office requires more than just maintaining order and setting an example for young, impressionable students.
Deputy Marlon Nelson of the Bradley county sheriff’s office provided that special kind of support when it was needed, and he’s tonight’s First Responder of the Month.
The campus of Walker Valley High school was quiet on that December day . . . but nearby a logging truck had collided with a car driven by student Megan Manning. She wasn’t seriously hurt, but she was trapped for awhile and scared.
“I felt a strong need to pray for her . . . because that should be a fatal . . . if you would see the impact of the vehicle. The vehicle looked like something out of a Hollywood movie…transformer completely obliterated. I just felt like hey, we should give thanks in everything so I felt I need to pray with her on scene and give thanks,” said Deputy Marlon Nelson, School Resource Officer at Walker Valley High School.
The young student recovered and is going into the medical profession. As for Deputy Nelson…he is also a chaplain at the sheriff’s department.
School counselor Richard Jackson was also there that day.
Richard Jackson, Walker Valley School Counselor said, “It was really very refreshing to me because Deputy Nelson came over to her and you know in this moment . . . so many things that could be done but the first thing he looked at her and said is . . . uh, “First I’d like to pray with you if that’s o.k.”.”
Counselor Jackson and Deputy Nelson have lunch together almost every school day…and Jackson knows the SRO’s dedication to the students.
“I’m here at school building relationships , bridge the gap between law enforcement and students…we build that relationship, play with them – basketball . . . or have a chit chat. Of course if there’s an opportunity to talk and minister to them, I do so,” said Deputy Nelson.
Becoming an SRO was a natural step for Marlon. Several years ago he was was transporting prisoners for the department when his life changed.
“My captain asked me if I would be willing to help out at Walker Valley . . . they didn’t have it figured out in detail what in the nature I would do but it was more like a security shed guard position. I said yeah, that’s fine perfectly for me because I would have enough time to do my biblical study. It worked out perfectly for me,” said Deputy Nelson.
And he’s done it well for several years now. So, Deputy Marlon Nelson, Bradley county sheriff’s office . . . we are proud to name you our First Responder of the Month.
“At Wettermark Keith, we are so proud of this month’s First Responder winner. But we are also proud of the hundreds of other First Responders who are out there working every day and every night to protect us and our families,” said James Wettermak of Wettermark Keith.