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Colbert County Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Green laughs when he recalls times he’s heard students rattle off name after name of today’s popular music artists during his tenures as a school resource officer.
“They’ll say, ‘Do you know who Rihanna is? Have you heard of Beyonce?’ and on and on,” Green said.
His answer tends to surprise the students.
“I say, ‘Oh yeah, I play their songs on my radio show,'” Green said.
The deputy has an unusual combination of current jobs: on weekdays he’s the resource officer at Cherokee high and elementary schools. On weekends, he’s the host of a WQLT show he calls “Radio Therapy.”
Green said he enjoys doing the show and believes it assists him as a resource officer.
“I think that helps the students open up,” he said. “It’s a good way to find common ground with the kids.”
Green has an extensive background in radio, having worked at numerous local stations throughout his career that dates to his teenage years.
In 2000, he took a job as dispatcher with the Sheffield Police Department and ultimately became a police officer, serving as a resource officer at Sheffield High School, before moving on to the sheriff’s office.
Through it all, he has maintained his “Radio Therapy” program, which runs from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sundays and 6 a.m. to noon every other Saturday.
“It’s an interesting combination, I’ll say that much,” he said.
Green said he never expected things to work out this way, but he enjoys it and figures there’s a reason for it. “God has a plan. We’re here for his purposes and not our purposes.”
He said students react well to it.
“They’ll say, ‘Man you’re that DJ on Q107? You do Radio Therapy? We love your show,” Green said. “They’ll even call in and request a song or just talk.”
The Sheriff’s Department has a resource officer at each county high school, Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson said.
Williamson said officers have to relate to the students, and being a DJ could assist Green in that endeavor. “I think it’ll help him in his job, in dealing with the kids.”
Throughout the years, Green has learned music provides a connection that can help diffuse a situation, whether it is in a school or on the streets.
“I’ve had more than one time when I’ve been out on a call and de-escalated a situation,” Green said. “I talk about something in common like maybe a favorite band or favorite song. I have a vast amount of music knowledge, and I’ve probably bored them to death with it, but de-escalated the situation. That’s a way those two things go hand in hand.”
Green purposely plays upbeat music on his “Radio Therapy” program and engages in lighthearted, humorous comments. His goal is to bring an uplifting show, and says he notices that he benefits from it.
“It’s music therapy for the audience, but great therapy for me,” he said. “I like to bring people enjoyment and happiness. There’s enough negativity in this world and it’s good to have something positive to offer to the audience. I want something that helps people unwind after a long week or prepare for the upcoming week.”
Sometimes, someone will see his name on his badge and recognize it.
They’ll ask, ‘Hey, you’re that Radio Therapy guy, right?'” Green said. “It feels great when they say something like, ‘Man, I can just tell you’re having a blast.”
Green’s biggest hope is for that connection to resonate with students so they can be more at ease to approach him.
“I hope it gives some trust there, so if anything were to ever occur that could be a safety concern, they may see me in a little different light from other officers,” he said. “They think: ‘I can go to him and trust him to keep me safe.'”