BUCKHANNON – Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy was officially announced Thursday as the Upshur County Schools Prevention Resource Officer Supervisor.
Upshur County Sheriff Dave Coffman introduced Gissy to the Upshur County Commission at Thursday’s July 9 meeting, saying he will remain in his current post until the end of July and begin his new one Aug. 1.
“I am here to put a rumor to rest,” Coffman said. “There has been a rumor for months that I was going to bring Adam Gissy over to fill this new position for us in the school system, and Adam is here today to make this official.”
“Adam is a great young man,” the sheriff added. “I don’t think we could find anybody else out there that could fill this role any better than Adam is going to. He graduated from Glenville State College, he is a graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy and he’s a graduate of the FBI Training Academy.”
Gissy will become the second officer to be stationed at Buckhannon-Upshur High School alongside Sgt. Dewaine Linger and the first PRO officer to serve in a supervisory capacity. Sgt. Rodney Rolenson works as the PRO officer at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.
Coffman said Gissy has been the sheriff of Lewis County and did an excellent job.
“I think we all know that Adam has been the sheriff in Lewis County for seven-and-a-half years and is still currently the sheriff until the end of the month, but he is a great leader, he’s done a great job in Lewis County, and I am very happy to have him come over here and accept this position,” Coffman said.
Gissy said he was always torn between becoming a teacher or a police officer, so this job combines both.
“I want to thank the sheriff for the selection,” Gissy said. “For those of you that don’t know this, I was indifferent as to whether I wanted to be a school teacher or a police officer, and it was at the 11th hour when I chose to go to the law enforcement route, so I’m super excited to go this capacity,” Gissy said. “As cliché as it might sound, if we collectively steer a troubled student in the right direction that otherwise may have ended up in a path of destruction, that’s a success.”
Gissy said he has operated under several different roles in the past, but never one like this and he can’t wait to get started.
“I’ve had the privilege to be put in a numerous roles, but never one like this, and I can’t explain to you how excited I am for this position,” Gissy said. “I’m ready to get to work. I was informed yesterday it might be a little bit more delayed, with school starting a little bit later, but we’ll hit the ground running and I hope to please you all, the students and the staff.”
According to a memorandum of understanding between the commission, sheriff’s office and Upshur County Board of Education, Gissy is a full-time, 12-month employee who will work for the BOE while school is both in and out of session. During summers or off-time, Gissy will “provide services during summer school terms and scheduled summer activities, attend PRO officer training and assist with safety-related planning activities,” among other duties.
The agreement says the board will pay the commission in quarterly installments for Gissy’s salary and benefits.
Upshur County Schools Director of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Dr. Jeff Harvey said he was happy to see the PRO officer program expand with another officer.
“On behalf of Upshur County schools, we’re excited about having this addition to the PRO Officer Program,” Harvey said. “The program has been a real success here in Upshur County at the middle school and the high school for several years, and we’re looking forward to being able to extend that out into, not only our safety and security efforts, but some mentoring efforts and some drug prevention efforts and all the things that the program is involved in, so we’re happy to get Adam on board and like you said we’ll hit the ground running.”