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Enquirer photo/Lauren Jackson

Meet Bob Gorman

HCS welcomes new school protection officer

When Bob Gorman retired from the state troopers 20 years ago, he never imagined returning to law enforcement work. Despite that, when he saw the opportunity to put his badge back on and serve the community he loves, he said he jumped at the opportunity. 

Gorman is one of two school protection officers hired through a new partnership between Hartselle City Schools and the Hartselle Police Department. He works in the three elementary schools to help keep students and faculty safe. 

Gorman said the opportunity to help protect and interact with students was enough to help draw him out of retirement. “I have had a long career in law enforcement and have been exposed to a lot of different things. When I retired, I didn’t ever really think I would come back into law enforcement, but this is a special chance,” Gorman said. 

The new position offers Gorman an avenue to help shape children’s image of what police officers are in the community.

“We want to assure them we are not here to arrest people, per se; we are here to be their ally and friend if they need help,” Gorman said. “I just think we need to try to accustom our children to good community policing rather than have them be afraid of us.” 

Working at the elementary schools is of particular interest to Gorman because he has great-grandchildren in the district. He said he has always been impressed with Hartselle City Schools but is even more so after being welcomed into each of the schools. “I am really impressed with how we have been received and the way the school administration from the top down has welcomed us and worked with us,” Gorman said. 

Although originally from the Birmingham area, Gorman has called Hartselle home since the late 1980s. “When I transferred here, they gave me the option of living wherever I wanted to, and everyone brags about the Hartselle school system. So we checked that out and decided this was where we wanted to live – and have been here ever since,” he said. “We are very pleased with that choice. Hartselle is a great community; the school system is great, the police department is great; everything we have experienced has been better than anything we have ever observed. 

“We have been in several cities, and Hartselle is definitely top notch.”