By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Ensuring students have safe and secure learning environments has been a priority of Director of Schools Bill Spurlock since taking the job last July.
To that end, he has recently expanded the Safe Schools Administrator position into a full-time role and hired long-time school law enforcement veteran David Crim.
After 21 years with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office — most of which was spent as a School Resource Officer — Crim recently retired from law enforcement to take the school district’s newly expanded position.
“It’s simple,” Crim said. “Students can’t learn if they don’t feel safe or if they, in fact, are not safe.”
During his most recent stint at Oakland High School — where he worked since 2010 — Crim was promoted to sergeant. He was also part of multiple committees and led the safety team, which oversaw safety drills at all Rutherford County schools.
It was a good segue when he decided to leave the Sheriff’s Office and take a position with RCS.
Because of Crim’s history with law enforcement, he will be able to communicate and work in close collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office “for the safety of everyone” as Spurlock tasks Crim with redefining the role of School Safety Administrator.
Crim will not only be onsite in the event of an occurrence to work alongside school administrators and help through the process — as he was when Siegel recently experienced a natural gas leak near the school — but he will take a visible proactive role as the district continues to enhance safety measures.
Crim will work with all 47 principals — soon to be 49 when two new schools open in August — to identify needs specific to each facility. The focus will be on individualized solutions to complex problems, Crim said.
“I’m going to be in schools,” Crim said. “I’m going to be looking at what I can do to help principals or an assistant principal. I’m going to be listening to teachers. I may listen to parents and see what we can do for each school.”
He added, “I need honest, open opinions of what we have and we don’t have, what they need and I will bring that back and compile. … My thing is to help assist and suggest ideas that are based on my knowledge.”
With safety procedures, Crim will represent the district and serve as a direct liaison to Director Spurlock.