ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – For 22 years, school resource officers have been part of the family at Glenvar High School.
Guarding and guiding the lives of children, as any teacher will say, requires people who take on many different roles.
Officer Daniel Ayers will tell you the same when it comes to school resource officers.
"We all wear different hats at different times of the day and sometimes multiple hats at the same time," Ayers says.
That ranges from playing ball with the kids and focusing on positive interaction with police officers at an early age to disciplinary action when necessary.
"It's paramount to have officers in school," Ayers said.
Principal Jamie Soltis said the benefits of a school resource officer are immeasurable.
"Kids having that relationship with our SRO, as well, gives another adult in our building who the kids as see as law enforcement, who the kids can go to (and) report and see if they have any uneasy feelings if they have heard something or seen something," Soltis said.
The Parkland, Florida shooting only serves as a reminder to administrators, and to Ayers, about his importance.
It's a scenario he says he's played over in his mind, should he ever be in that situation, and a fear that's not going away.
"Unfortunately, at the state we live in, it's not going to change. People are going to seek to do violence or terror on people," Ayers said.
That's why he continues to work with teachers and administrators about how to protect themselves and their students.
"That's the number one goal is the safety of the students. We should be re-evaluating those crisis plans or protection or voicing their concerns about any safety concerns they perceive at least monthly," Ayers said.