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Meet Our Grand Marshals:

School Resource Officers Tracy Sommers (CPD) and Deputy Gary Fulwiler (MCSO)

 

 

“Kind and Helpful Hands. School Resource Officers - Keeping Our Schools Safe.”

This year, the Americana Festival salutes those that play a crucial role in keeping our schools safe. On July 4th, we honor school resource officers and the impact they have on our students, schools, and communities. These officers ensure physical safety in schools while building relationships with students and educators.

 

To highlight their important work, the festival is honoring two retiring school resource officers this year as its grand marshals. We thank Centerville Police Officer Tracy Sommers and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Fulwiler for the incredible work they have done to be kind and helpful hands in keeping our schools safe.

 

So, what’s a school resource officer or SRO, exactly? An SRO is a carefully selected, specifically trained, and properly equipped law enforcement officer with sworn authority, trained in school-based law enforcement and crisis response and assigned by an employing law enforcement agency to work collaboratively with one or more schools using community-oriented policing concepts. SRO’s play multiple roles in our schools, including law enforcement, mentoring, counseling, and training. In the process, this informal relationship with students improves trust in law enforcement and safety while having a police presence on school grounds. 

 

Their involvement at this level can help to prevent student injuries or death due to violence or drugs; minimize property damage, minimize the need for schools to call 9-1-1, reduce the likelihood that a student will get a criminal record, and increase the chances that students receive the help they need from social service and health care systems in their community.

 

Please join us in recognizing this year’s grand marshals as we recognize their important efforts in keeping our schools safe.

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OFFICER TRACY SOMMERS, (CPD)

OFFICER TRACY SOMMERS, (CPD), is a graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science - Criminal Justice, Tracy Sommers came to Centerville and started her career in March 1999 as a dispatcher with the Centerville Police Department. She was promoted to Police Officer in August 1999. Tracy is an Evidence Technician, a member of the Honor Guard, and has served 2 terms as a School Resource Officer: 2009-2014, and 2019-2024.

 

She is also an advisor for the CPD Public Safety Cadet program, mentoring students who aspire to become police officers. She has received several recognitions from the Centerville Noon and Evening Optimist Clubs, notably the John P. Kalaman Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award in 2019; and a Life Saving award from the Centerville Police Department. She was also the recipient of the VFW Post 9950 Police Officer of the Year Award in 2020. Tracy resides in Springboro, Ohio with her husband Brian and her daughter, Anna.

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Retired Deputy Gary Fulwiler

Retired Deputy Gary Fulwiler is a graduate of Kettering Fairmont High School. He graduated from the Sinclair Police Academy in 1996. Following his graduation from the Academy, Deputy Fulwiler started his law enforcement career working for the Saint Elizabeth Hospital Police Department and the Ansonia Police Department in Darke County before joining the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. During his tenure at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Fulwiler worked road patrol and went on to become Certified as an Evidence Technician and a School Resource Officer. He was assigned to Dayton Public Schools prior to his tenure at Centerville City Schools.

During his years at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, he received numerous Letters of Recognition, commendations and awards, including the Jonn P. Kalaman Law Enforcement Officer of the year in 2007. He was presented with the Washington Township Employee Award of Excellence in 2022, he also received the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy of the month in both 2014 and 2023. 

During his time at the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Fulwiler assisted in organizing the annual Safetyville Square Pre-K Program with the Centerville Optimist Club. He developed the Cruise In portion of the Washington Township Cruise In -To The Ice Cream Social put on by Washington Township.

Deputy Fulwiler worked as one of the primary School Resource Officers for Centerville City Schools for 15 years, teaching, mentoring and guiding the youth of Montgomery County. Deputy Fulwiler is already enjoying his retirement, spending time with his wife of 34yrs, Karina.  

To register for the invitation only event, click here.

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