Dean Hammer hired as new Student Resource Officer for B-C-S

Press Staff Writer

        With 30+ years of experience in law enforcement, retired Ottawa County Deputy Dean Hammer is returning to where his career began in 1985.
        Starting this month, Officer Hammer is serving under the Oak Harbor Police Department as the new Student Resource Officer (SRO) for Oak Harbor Middle School and R.C. Waters Elementary in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District.
        “Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools welcomes Officer Hammer as our new SRO,” Superintendent Dr. Guy Parmigian said. “We are privileged to partner with Chief Parker and the Oak Harbor Police Department on our most important priority of keeping students and staff safe on campus.”
        A 1983 B-C-S graduate, Hammer grew up in the Woodville/Gibsonburg area and moved with his parents to Oak Harbor at age 15. He said he was the “new kid in town” and immediately “connected with students who didn’t normally easily connect with anyone else.” Small for his age and sometimes a teen victim of bullying, Hammer knows and understands what youth are going through and expects to provide a listening ear as the SRO.
        “I see kids who are singled out,” said Hammer. “I like to talk to them and let them know I’m there if they have trouble at home or at school. I’ll try to help anybody out, that I can. That’s how my parents raised me.”
        On many levels, Hammer’s own personal experiences impacted his entire career.
        He began as an auxiliary police officer with Oak Harbor’s Department before moving on to the juvenile courts as an in-home detention officer. After a short stint on Put-in-Bay, he eventually landed at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, where he spent 27 years. Much of his time included aiding the Inmate Work Program, a sentence-reducing incentive program that utilizes jail inmates convicted of minor, non-violent crimes to perform community work such as trash pick-up, pulling weeds, etc. Many of the former inmates eventually asked Hammer for a job reference upon their release, and, according to Hammer, the experience changed his life.
        As an SRO, Hammer wants B-C-S parents to know the students are safe at school and “someone is there to watch over their children.” He has three children of his own, all graduates of B-C-S, as well as five grandchildren. Over the years, he has coached a lot of baseball and supported youth programs including Safety Town, Hands on a Truck and the United Way holiday shop.
        Hammer also started the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Explorers, a teen program for youth interested in law enforcement careers. A multiple Life Saving Award recipient, he was honored as Deputy of the Year during his tenure, and Ottawa County Commissioners recently proclaimed Sept. 11 “Dean Hammer Day.”
        “Having direct daily contact with the youth of our community has opened opportunities to build trust that brings fantastic results,” said Oak Harbor Chief of Police Eric Parker. “Officer Hammer and his experience will be a great addition to our SRO program.”
        “Anyone that knows me knows I am dedicated, and I give 100% to anything I do,” Hammer said of taking on a new role in a familiar place. “Oak Harbor is special. In this community, everybody seems to work together. If someone needs something, everybody pitches in. It’s a beautiful place; it’s my home.”


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