Gerald "Jay" Hockey

Gerald “Jay” Hockey

When Brookfield Local School District School Resource Officer Gerald “Jay” Hockey completed a training program on conducting a school vulnerability assessment, he became eligible for a $300 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The grant didn’t come with any strings attached as to how it could be spent, and Police Chief Dan Faustino didn’t add any of his own.
Hockey said he didn’t want to get “something for his office,” as Faustino had said he could, so he sat down with school Supt. Toby Gibson. Through that discussion, he decided to buy three medical supply cabinets to be put up in each wing of the school building.
“I just figured, it would be best spent if it benefited as many people in the school as possible,” Hockey said. “I didn’t really have an idea, but I knew I didn’t want to just buy an aquarium for my office.”
The cabinets hold items that run between a first-aid kit and a trauma bag, which each Brookfield policeman carries with him while on duty. They include dressings, sanitizing sprays and wipes, a splint, a tourniquet, and wound care items “for the unspeakable,” he said.
“I wanted it to be a little more prepared for something crazy,” he said, referring to a more major medical incident.
“A lot of good things in there,” said school nurse Rhonda Zebroski.
Zebroski said there have been incidents in her 31 years with the school in which it would have been beneficial to have medical supplies closer to where an incident has taken place.
“They tried to put them in strategic places that would be beneficial, especially down by the cafeteria,” she said.
Faustino said Hockey’s choice of the medical cabinets shows that he has “that SRO mindset.”
“I applaud him for that,” he said.
promoHockey put the vulnerability assessment training to good use by performing an assessment of the school. The assessment deals with a variety of factors, including background checks, document storage, access of outside groups to the school, visitor policies, utility access, exterior security features, mail screening, door strength, camera monitoring, and emergencies that could happen outside of the school but have an impact on the school, such as a hazardous material spill on Route 82.
“The school passed pretty good, in my opinion,” Hockey said. “It doesn’t have metal detectors. It’s pretty advanced as far as the schools I went to.”
The assessment report has been submitted to the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Hockey is in his first year as school resource officer. It is nearly a career change as he had spent most of his 20 years with Brookfield working midnights.
“Midnight shift was getting mind-numbing,” he said. “It was slow to begin with and, when COVID happened, I felt like I was going brain dead on that shift.
“Coming here, it’s just a different world. I like it. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do. The people here are awesome. It’s like a family here. They’re all so nice. I do what I can to help them, as far as whatever they need.”
One stark contrast between the two jobs is Hockey hardly ever encountered children on midnights.
“They think I’m new,” he said. “They don’t know who I am.”
A naturally quiet person, Hockey said he has had to try to be more outgoing.
“It’s definitely nice,” he said. “They’re getting to know me.”