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Recognizing Sergeant Todd DeWitt

By Jennifer Webb

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

The familiar words echoed in Sgt. Todd DeWitt’s head as he started his walk down the halls. His footsteps echoed off the tiles and concrete walls. All was quiet. Then, a bell rang, doors popped open, and the hall bustled with conversations from all directions as teens walked to their next classes with hurried footsteps.

Sgt. DeWitt smiled. For him, there was no better assignment than being the SRO (School Resource Officer) at Searcy High School. He was the Sergeant over all the School Resource Officers, but his main and most important job was to be here for these young men and women. They need hope. They need to know who Jesus is, how much he loves them, and what he’s done for them.

In the bustle, he saw a familiar head going down the hallway - his youngest daughter, Brylee. She didn’t speak to him then, but he would talk to her later tonight at home. It was Friday, family dinner night. Brylee was the only one of his and Sharen’s children still at home, but they all made it a point to come over for Friday night dinner.

“Get to class,” he kindly but firmly told a few stragglers.

“Why are you always telling us to get to class?” the reluctant student complained.

“There are two things that no one can ever take from you,” Sgt DeWitt countered, “Your faith and your education.”

Sgt. DeWitt remembered a police officer whom he had known growing up in McCrory, Arkansas. He saw how people respected him and how he was involved with the community and able to give back. That’s what had first planted the seed of “I want to be a police officer.” He attended college at Harding University. At first, he thought he wanted to be a basketball coach, but the call to be in law enforcement was too strong. Looking back now, he could clearly see that it had been God’s hand guiding him and watching over him.

He’s been with the Searcy Police Department since 2007 and during his time, he has found that law enforcement is where God has called him to be. He said, “I may not ever see all of the fruit from seeds I’ve planted, but I will continue to plant seeds no matter what.”

“A police officer is not a job, it’s a calling. You have to be cut out for it.”

- Sgt. Todd DeWitt

He worked several positions within the department, including patrol, crimes against children, misdemeanor investigations, and public information officer. But the SRO position is the best spot he’s ever been in during his career. He doesn’t see himself doing anything else until he retires and would love to stay right where he’s at.

“Christ says he’s the hope of Glory. I have the opportunity to share that the best that I can and help the kids along the way. The kids are the next generation. They need hope.”

- Sgt. Todd DeWitt, SRO, Searcy High School

He keeps an open-door policy in his office. The students know they are welcome and encouraged to come talk to him. Many of them take advantage of that. They know they can say what they want in his office as long as they are not hurting anyone, no one is hurting them, or there isn’t something else going on that he is required to report. They know that he has their best interests at heart. The advice he gives may not be what they want to hear, but it will always be the truth.

He wants to be there for the struggling kids - to help guide them, direct their path, and give them hope. The SRO position puts him in a unique place to be able to do that.

“There is a big federal push for mental health and the only answer that I know is Jesus Christ. He’s been my hope where there seemed to be no hope.”

- Sgt. Todd DeWitt, SRO, Searcy High School

Later that afternoon, he knows that he will watch his Platinum F250, lifted 7 inches with 37-inch tires pull out of the school parking lot, with Brylee at the wheel. It catches as many admiring glances in the school parking lot as it does in the car shows they attend on the weekends.

Dinner time tonight will be an event. Sharen will cook, and all the kids will be there. Darren, now 26 years old wearing his game warden uniform, Hailee, who is about to turn 21 in June, Tyla who is 18, and 16-year-old Brylee will fill the seats around the table. It’s something that they share and look forward to every Friday night.

“When you’re growing up as a kid, family is not that important, but as you get older, family is the most important thing that you have. Those people will always be there when you fall to dust your pants off and help you get back on track.”

- Sgt. Todd DeWitt, SRO, Searcy High School

They will all bow their heads and ask God to bless the food before them. They will talk of God’s grace, mercy, hope, and all the good things that He’s doing in their lives. They will laugh, joke, tell stories, sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron, and remind each other that Jesus is the great physician and the great counselor.


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