BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero puts himself on the front lines every day to keep his community safe. When he’s not doing that, you can find him in the classroom fostering relationships with elementary school students while also keeping them safe.

Within moments of watching Officer David Jones interact with the students at West Boulevard Elementary School in Boardman, it’s apparent he has a special relationship with them.

“He’s the best cop,” said student Dominic Williams.

Officer Jones is in his seventh year as a police officer but his first year as the elementary school’s resource officer. It’s a position he has grown to love, largely in part because of the students.

“They mean the world to me. I’m glad that the kids like me. I love them,” Officer Jones said.

Al Cervello, the elementary school’s principal, says they’re fortunate in the Boardman community to have a police officer in their buildings every day. While they all do a great job, he says Officer Jones takes it to another level, describing him as…

“Dependable, honest, easily approachable. I’m sure he’s a fantastic police officer but he would also be a wonderful educator,” Cervello said.

As for the students, they say they love his humor and eagerness to help them.

“He’s funny. He’s a jokester and we read books together,” said student Carter Joachim.

“If we need help with like a book or if we need help with a paper, he’ll help us,” said student Nathan Anderson.

Within moments of meeting Officer Jones and awarding him with his Hometown Hero plaque, his humility was evident.

“It means a lot. I don’t think I deserve it because there’s a lot of people here that do a lot more than I do. I get paid to just hang out with the kids and have a good time,” Officer Jones said.

But Officer Jones’ job goes way beyond that.

“I check the doors in the morning. I help get the car riders in with the teachers or the buses and stuff like that, and make sure that the front door and everything is watched while everyone is arriving at school and the doors are open and unsecured,” Officer Jones said.

“He has not only done just that but he has fostered relationships with the boys and girls, and that is the most important thing into educating them is to build a relationship,” Cervello said.