The school resource officer at T.A. Dugger Junior High School has had a long and varied career in law enforcement, serving with the Elizabethton Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Originally from Harlingen, Texas, Jesse Peña began his law enforcement career in 1996 at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked in the jail. He later joined the city police department in 1997.
“I started in patrol and from there I went to the Drug Task Force,” Peña said. “They needed someone that speaks Spanish. They were dealing with Hispanics back in the late ’90s.”