|04-24-2011, 01:53 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Coker will lead VSDB security force
Coker will lead VSDB security force | The News Leader | newsleader.com
As far as retirements go, this one was short-lived.
Like a champion boxer who can't say goodbye to the ring, just one month after Charles Coker left the Waynesboro Police Department following a 35-year career, he is set to join the police force at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton.
"Everything fell in place," Coker recently said from his Stuarts Draft home.
Coker retired in March with the rank of captain from the Waynesboro Police Department, and will now find himself promoted to the position of chief at VSDB beginning May 2. The differences will be many. Instead of policing a city of thousands with a force of dozens, the safety of 117 students will be Coker's main objective, all done with the aid of one full-time security officer and about a dozen part-timers.
Then there is the issue of communicating with some of the students, a task that will be no small feat considering that Coker, 60, is not yet fluent in sign language.
But his daughter, a school teacher, happens to be fluent in sign language and is giving her dad a crash course.
"I've got all the alphabet down now," Coker said. "The signing is going to be the most challenging."
Coker, however, remains undaunted at the prospect of heading the VSDB police force. "It's going to be exciting for me, it really is," he said.
With the school in the midst of a $73.1 million expansion, Superintendent Nancy Armstrong said enrollment could almost double to 200 students by next school year. But that doesn't mean trouble is lurking around the corner.
"Our students are just great," she said. "We don't have major problems."
Still, Armstrong said she's delighted that Coker has accepted the position as chief.
"He brings that wealth of knowledge," she said. "He's so well-respected. It's definitely a win-win situation for us."
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller