2017-04-09 / Insight

Deputy Jimmy White works to keep children safe

810-452-2616 •

Deputy Jimmy White is the Lapeer County’s Sheriff’s Dept.’s Child Advocacy Center’s liaison. 
Photo by Phil Foley Deputy Jimmy White is the Lapeer County’s Sheriff’s Dept.’s Child Advocacy Center’s liaison. Photo by Phil Foley LAPEER — Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Deputy Jimmy White, the Child Advocacy Center’s Spotlight Member for April, could have ended up someplace else, if his daughter hadn’t gotten hungry.

Instead for the past nine years White has been making Lapeer County a safer place for children.

He began as a road patrol deputy in 2008, but two years later Det. Sgt. Parks approached White about working with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). “He knew I enjoyed working with kids in schools.” He’s been the department’s CAC Liaison ever since.

In 2008, the 32-year-old Flint native had just been laid off by the Flint Police Dept. and he’d heard the Lapeer Police Dept. was hiring. After filling out an application at the police department White and his family got lost in the city.

By the time they got directions back to I-69 at a local Sunoco station, his baby daughter was hungry and fussing so he and his wife pulled off the expressway at Lake Nepessing Road. “It was a fluke,” he said.

As his wife was feeding their daughter, White noticed the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. sign at John Conley Drive and decided to fill out an application. The next day Lt. James McLain called him and offered him a job.

“We fell in love with the town really quick,” White said.

He said he and Amanda Overland, the CAC’s Prevention Coordinator, make presentations to every second and fourth grader in Lapeer, North Branch and Dryden and they’re working to set up programs in Imlay City and Almont.

He said while Overland works on teaching children how to deal with “scary situations,” he focuses on making children more comfortable with and trusting of law enforcement.

They tag team with Overland doing a one-hour session followed up by a visit by White one week later. The program is designed to teach children in a non-threatening way about how to avoid dangerous situations and who they can talk to, if they feel uncomfortable.

Along with being the sheriff’s department’s CAC Liaison, White is also a member of the department’s dive and special response teams and took over the department’s long-running Safetyville program from Dep. Stacy Stimson when he retired last year. “I like to keep busy,” he said.

It also eats up a lot of his off-duty time. In 2012, the CAC presented him with its Volunteer Award. “I just can’t stand back and watch,” he said.

While his primary job with the sheriff’s department is contract road patrol deputy for Mayfield Township, he said working with children is one of the most rewarding things he does as a police officer.

So far, this year, White and Overland have been to 34 classrooms across the county. He said the Personal Safety and Awareness Program “plays a fundamental role in changing the foundation of community trust at a young age.”

He said one of the most gratifying aspects of his job is when he’s off duty and out of uniform in a store and a young child points him out their parents. “’It’s him, it’s him,’ they’ll say until their parents finally come over and ask, ‘Are you Deputy White?’” he said.

White said it reminds him of when a police officer came to his school on the north side of Flint. “I still remember his name,” he recalled.

“That excitement and attention is something not every deputy typically gets,” White said.

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