Constables and school resource officers have been assigned to schools throughout the Cape Henlopen School District in time for the first day of the 2023-24 academic year.
Superintendent Bob Fulton outlined details of a district-wide security plan, including his recommendation to hire resource officers and constables at all schools, at the April 27 school board meeting. The board authorized hiring the officers by unanimous vote May 11.
New officers join SROs Crysti Davis, Chad Harmon and Rob Scisco, who were already in place.
Davis, a 24-year Delaware State Police officer, is a detective who has been a Cape district SRO for the past five years. She will patrol Beacon Middle, and Lewes and Love Creek elementary schools.
Harmon, also a detective, started his career with DSP in 1998, when he was assigned to Troop 7 in Lewes. In 2008, he moved to Troop 4 Youth Aid and became the SRO for the Indian River School District. He joined Cape as an SRO in 2019, and will patrol Cape High and Lewes Elementary.
After being hired by the City of Lewes in 2013, Scisco began visiting Shields Elementary students during lunch in order to build connections between law enforcement and local youth. In 2020, the Rehoboth Beach Police Department hired him as the Rehoboth Elementary SRO.
Todd Stratton will serve as lead constable for the district, and will patrol Love Creek Elementary. The previous constable at Milford School District, Stratton retired after 27 years with the New York State Police. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Syracuse University.
Joining Harmon at Cape High will be constables Maurice VanDemark and Michael Guenther.
VanDemark was previously deputy sheriff for the Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department in Vermont, where he was also an assistant state fire marshal. VanDemark received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England University and his master’s degree in fire science from University of New Haven.
Guenther comes to Cape with 22 years of law enforcement experience with the New York City Police, where he managed unit commands, first-line supervision, precinct conditions, anti-crime enforcement, crime scene organization and community policing.
DSP detective, Cape High grad and SRO Josh Hackney will patrol Mariner Middle, and Milton and H.O. Brittingham elementaries. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Delaware State University. Hackney is also a former paraeducator at Sussex Consortium and Mariner Middle, and is an assistant basketball coach at Cape High.
H.O. Brittingham Elementary Constable George Rath retired from the NYPD as a detective after 25 years of service investigating criminal complaints and missing persons, and also worked on security details and dignitary protection in conjunction with the Secret Service.
Constable Mark Nicholas will patrol Lewes Elementary. Nicholas has 32 years of experience at the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and the Camden County Police Department, both in New Jersey. After retiring in 2015 as chief of detectives, Nicholas took a civilian role as the director of strategic analysis and intelligence for the Camden County Police Department.
Wayne Esposito, constable for Milton Elementary, began his career in the patrol division of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, where he served in the uniform vice squad, tactical unit and civil defense unit. He served 20 years in the presidential motor unit escorting presidents, vice presidents and foreign dignitaries, and retired after nearly 27 years.
Sussex Consortium Constable Christopher Wessel was previously the chief of security operations for Family Court in Georgetown, and is an active member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a master sergeant.
Constable Tim Jones will take on the role of district-wide constable, and will help each building constable and the school SROs as needed. A Sussex Central High grad, Jones retired in 2015 after 25 years at Delaware Department of Correction as a correctional lieutenant. He also served in the Delaware Army National Guard for 29 years.