By Yeva Balayan and Griffon Filighera
Officer Mike Norton is starting his first year at Jamesville-DeWitt High School as a Student Resource Officer after over thirty years working in the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Norton had many reasons for taking the SRO position at J-DHS, one of which being the 50 plus years of friendship with Paul Gaspirini, the principal of the school. Once he made the decision to retire from the Onondaga Sheriff’s office, moving to J-DHS seemed like a “perfect fit.”
The transition to J-DHS for Officer Norton has been good in many ways. His work-life balance has benefited a lot since making the move. In that, he now has a shorter work schedule along with weekends and holidays off. “This is fantastic for me, this is something I have not experienced in a long, long time.” Officer Norton said.
Norton has been pleasantly surprised and impressed by how J-DHS students have behaved for the first month of school. “I really did not expect the students to be as nice as they are,” Norton said, “You guys have all gone past my expectations.”
Officer Norton grew up in Liverpool, NY in a house of three brothers and married parents, providing him a great environment. He was a suburban kid who loved his friends and played football and baseball, and he wrestled. Officer Norton said, “my neighborhood was great. I still have some great friends from when I grew up.”
After graduating in 1981, Officer Norton worked in the Criminal investigation section of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s station. Throughout his thirty years, Norton operated in several different units, including the Crisis Negotiations Unit for fifteen years and the Abused Persons Unit for five years.
Officer Norton pays special care to his experience in the Abused Persons Unit, which is a unit that focuses on investigations dealing with child abuse and sex offenders. “Any crime is bad, but there’s a huge difference between putting somebody away that raped someone as opposed to someone that broke into a garage and stole a bike,” said Officer Norton.
Officer Norton is glad to a new member of the J-DHS community and is excited for the many years to come.