Deputy Gunsolley has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for 13 years, and for the last three years he has been assigned as a School Resource Officer (SRO) for the city of Laguna Hills. An SRO is a patrol trained deputy that is assigned specifically to patrol and protect our schools.
After the Columbine massacre in 1999, having an SRO on campus became a common place throughout the United States. Many times the SRO is recognized as an administrator of the school, this allows the SRO to enforce school rules and conduct searches based on reasonable suspicion rather than probable cause, something that a regular patrol deputy cannot do. Schools are most effective when students feel safe; the uniform alone is a good deterrence of criminal activity. Deputy Gunsolley has found that the biggest problems in high schools today are electronic cigarettes and marijuana wax.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Brian Gunsolley was recently awarded for his efforts with the Laguna Hills Latino community. Deputy Gunsolley coordinates with his Spanish-speaking partners to bring presentations to this community that helps them be educated and informed to successfully help guide and raise their children. Deputy Gunsolley has been able to bridge the gap between our department and this community with his hard work and commitment. The community is so thankful for what Brian has done for them, especially because he is not bilingual, but that doesn’t stop his efforts.
Deputy Gunsolley started as a School Resource Officer (SRO) 3 years ago at Laguna Hills High School. During the first few months that he was there he realized that there wasn’t a very strong tie with the school and the community, especially the Latino community which makes up 40% of LHHS. Deputy Gunsolley felt that is was very important for the Latino residence to understand that they would not get deported for calling 911 and that public safety personnel want to make sure the neighborhood is safe. He felt that a presentation geared toward the parents and in Spanish would be the most effective.
This program is now one of the biggest growing parent participating programs in the Saddleback Valley School District. What started off as 30 people are now 110 people in attendance to the 6 different presentations, or education nights that are taught in Spanish. The ELAC (Enlace con la Comunidad) which is similar to the PTA, but for Spanish speakers, also plays a vital role in these educational presentations. They help facilitate these presentations, as well as help translate. Gunsolley and ELAC have presented on the following topics: Drug Trends, Teen Driving Safety, Latino Gang Awareness, Teen Physiology and Bullying. Deputy Gunsolley explained that it was very important to translate with impeccable Spanish and to also include statistics that are specific to Laguna Hills so that the community and parents have a better understanding as well as can relate more to the information being presented to them.