North Georgia 'Dancing Cop' helps brighten kids' day
Hamilton McCaleb is bringing smiles to a Ringgold intersection.
He’s a school resource officer who is getting a lot of attention for the way he directs traffic each day.
Locals call him "the dancing cop” because he actually dances while he works.
"It started because I had several people complain that it's hard to see me especially when it's dark outside. I figured the more movement I give, the more I can be seen and the safer it is for me and for everybody else,” McCaleb told Channel 3.
There is no music playing. McCaleb says he doesn’t need any.
“I don't have earphones or anything like that because I want to hear if someone is driving too fast or slowing down a little too quickly,” McCaleb explained.
In case you're wondering what beat is playing in his head, here's the answer.
"'Smooth Criminal' and 'Play That Funky Music' are the two,” McCaleb said.
McCaleb is fairly new to the job. He just started working as an SRO in North Georgia in August.
The Atlanta native moved back to Georgia from St. Louis where he spent the last eight years.
He rotates between three schools, Ringgold Elementary, Ringgold Primary and Tiger Creek Elementary.
Ringgold Elementary School Principal Kim Erwin says she remembers the first time she saw his moves.
“I did a double take. I looked and I went, is he dancing? Then I had to grab everybody and say come here look, come here look he's dancing,” she laughed.
“I felt like as soon as I started dancing, singing, smiling and being a little more social and friendly that it translated immediately into the school. Kids started dancing in the cafeteria when I walked in. They all walk in and give me a hug, so it's a blast. I love it,” McCaleb added.
It’s also a chance for kids who have never interacted with a law enforcement officer to get to know one.
“It is about showing that side to our kids that he is a helper. He's here to help them. Protecting them is helping them so it's a new experience but we love him, and we hit the jackpot when we got him,” Erwin said.
The feeling is obviously mutual.
“It means a lot. To be myself, having fun, making the kids smile and then see that they feel the same way back, it means a lot,” McCaleb said.