News, School News

School Prevention Resource Officer Deputy Chuck Hess is on the job

by Kate Evans

New Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Chuck Hess began his job as Morgan County Schools Prevention Resource Officer on January 8 at Berkeley Springs High School where he is based.  His first day at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office was December 26.

Former Prevention Resource Officer Paul McFarland, who took over the position after Deputy Kevin Barney retired last summer, has retired.

New Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Chuck Hess is the Morgan County Schools Prevention Resource Officer.

Hess said he originally began his career as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Berkeley County in December 2005.  He went to Jefferson County in 2009 as a Sheriff’s Deputy and became a Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy in December 2023.

This is Hess’ first position as a school Prevention Resource Officer.  In Morgan County, Hess covers all seven schools. He said that in Berkeley County the Sheriff’s Deputies rotated out every year and all took turns at different schools. Now school/prevention resource officers are usually embedded in certain schools.


Hess said that security and the safety of students is his biggest responsibility. He does school safety checks, checks parking lots, checks on staff and makes sure that all doors that need to be locked are locked.

Hess said he handles anything criminal that comes up such as fights, harassment and vaping.  The school handles the discipline side.

Hess is going to be leading a leadership class in Paw Paw in March. He also teaches civilian awareness classes on a wide range of emergencies like fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Things have been going well at the high school. Since Hess has been on the job as Prevention Resource Officer, there haven’t been any school fights, he said.  He’s had to deal with a couple of vaping cases, which get referred to Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Dan James.  Hess said that James is very hands-on and has been great to work with.

When school lets out for the summer, Hess works for the Sheriff’s Department.  He also has the Prevention Resource Officer School in July in Wheeling.  He’s required to go every year.

Hess can also get called out from the schools if there’s a big emergency with the Sheriff’s Department, but that hasn’t happened so far.  On one snow day he almost got called out because there were a number of accidents.

Also a coach

Along with being a deputy and working in Berkeley County Schools, Hess said he’s done a lot of coaching for more than five years.  He’s coached basketball, baseball and football and will be helping to coach softball this spring.  Hess said he enjoys kids.

“Give everyone three seconds.  Once you figure out what’s going on, it’s easy.  They’ll talk to you,” he noted.

Hess also likes helping people. He tells them, “If you need anything, let me know.”


Hess said the biggest thing he tries to get through to students is accountability.

“If they do something wrong, they learn from it and try not to do it again,” he said.

Hess said he works with all grades at Berkeley Springs High School.  He tries to vary when he pops in at other schools for interacting with different grades. When he gets together with school staff, everyone wants to meet and fix issues.

“It’s been great so far,” Hess said.