Most people know Stacy Inman for her longtime role as a school resource officer in Mount Airy, but she now finds herself out on the street — as the city’s new bicycle/community officer.
Inman is filling the role recently vacated by Officer Ray Arnder of the Mount Airy Police Department, who retired from its community police division that includes SROs as well as community/bike patrol officers.
Inman was recognized for her service as an SRO Tuesday night during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Education, and said Thursday that her new appointment comes with some mixed feelings.
“I’ve got to say that the schools have been the most-rewarding thing I’ve been in (with) the division in 11 years,” said Inman, a 24-year veteran of the city police force. In 2005, she became the first-ever school resource officer at Mount Airy High School, and most recently has been assigned to Mount Airy Middle School.
“I’m going to miss the schools,” Inman continued, “but transitioning to the (overall) community division … gets me more involved in the community.” Unlike the SRO part of that unit, which basically confines city officers to the campus to which they are assigned, the broader community policing role will allow Inman to expand her outreach — including bike patrols.
“It’s just a natural transition for her,” Police Chief Dale Watson said Thursday. “I think it’s a great step.”
Watson said Inman built a good foundation with students while serving as an SRO, which conforms to the overall mission of community policing: establishing a rapport with citizens that can aid in crime prevention and solving.
“And I think that will transition into the new role and it will serve her well,” the chief said.
Inman, who is a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer, said Thursday she still will be involved with local schools to some extent.
In preparation for possible bicycle patrols, she completed the Law Enforcement Mountain Bike School in Greensboro. “I’ve been certified for about a year and a half now,” Inman said of that capacity.
Recently, she began bike patrols after school as part of easing in to the new position.
After joining the city police force in 1992, Inman initially worked in its narcotics unit, before transferring to the patrol division and then serving as a K-9 handler for four years.
The police chief added Thursday that a new resource officer in the community division, to replace Inman at Mount Airy Middle School, has not been named. The position is being posted and likely will be filled by someone now within the police department, since that individual already has knowledge of the community, he said.
At full strength, the division has four members. It now includes Inman, Officer Gerald Daniel and James Simmons, the school resource officer at Mount Airy High.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.