A recent assembly at Adam Stephens Middle School in northeast Salem celebrated the reveal of a new patch for the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The Advanced Art class at Stephens created 23 entries for a patch design contest for the East Salem Service District patrol deputies.
The entry form for the patch posed the question, "What do you love about your neighborhood?" Students got creative in their designs, which ranged from sunsets, to trees and orchards, to compass arrows, illustrating the beautiful landscape around east Salem.
Sheriff Jason Myers was excited to see how much creativity the students put into the designs. "It's always interesting to see how youth view their community and what they believe is important. These kids see tremendous value in the landscape around this part of Marion County. I couldn't be more impressed with what they came up with, and I'm proud to have deputies wear a student-designed patch."
Stephens Art Teacher Gladys Jacobsen also shares pride in her students' work. "I am so proud that our students at Stephens Middle School have used their talent and hard work to make a lasting contribution to this area. What a wonderful learning opportunity for our students to positively impact the neighborhood in which they live and go to school. I am awed every day at not only the talent that our students possess but the dedication and hard work they show."
Patch design winner, eighth grader, Jesus Adrian Valdez Ceja, created a patch with evergreen trees as the points of a seven-point Sheriff's star. A bright red apple reflects area orchards and is centered over a compass that lies in the middle of the star. The words "East Salem" hang just under the star and Marion County is arched above, giving the East Salem Service District a distinct look, yet tying it back to the Sheriff's Office's regular patch.
ESSD Deputy Chris Bangs, a long-time east Salem resident and former school resource officer at Stephens, helped coordinate the contest. He will be the first to wear the ESSD patch.
Deputies and vehicles assigned to the East Salem Service District will be displaying the winning patch. Two patrol vehicles have been showcasing all of the patch design entries since November. Community partner, Donofrio's Skyline Ford, donated the cost of the wraps which have generated conversations about the patch project and the addition of 10 deputies dedicated to the East Salem Service District.
"These are exciting times," said Sheriff Myers. "We have the opportunity to develop some great relationships with the Hayesville and Four Corners communities and to address some neighborhood concerns in ways we haven't been able to before."