Meet City Schools: Betty Covington

  • January 1, 2017

    Betty Covington

    School police officer and president of GEMS (Girls Expecting More Success)
    Betty Covington and son, with award certificate

    Officer Covington pictured with her son, after receiving a crime prevention award from Governor Martin O'Malley


    My role as a police officer is to make sure that I keep students and staff safe. In doing so, I make sure that I encourage all my students to be great, and also assist them with any issues they may have.

    Because I wanted to do more for our youth, I started a nonprofit organization to support at-risk girls called Girls Expecting More Success (GEMS), located in Digital Harbor High School. This allows me to mentor young ladies and give back to my community. 

    I graduated from Walbrook High School.

    I have been a Baltimore City School Police officer since 1998.

    If I could have a cup of coffee with anyone, it would be with Mrs. Bryant, who was my 4th-grade teacher at John Eager Howard Elementary School, because she was one of those teachers who cared about her students. This lady would have us come to school early so that she could serve everyone of her students breakfast, and she made sure we were able to come together to talk about any issues we had. Mrs. Bryant went beyond the mark of just educating her students. It had a great impact on my life.

    Before I joined City Schools Police, I was a certified, professional beautician, and I also did security work for Wells Fargo. Chief Leonard Hamm, who is now chief of campus police at Coppin State, gave me the chance for a better life by hiring me as a police officer in 1998. He took the time to motivate me and build my confidence up, and he taught me what it meant to be an officer with integrity.

    My favorite movie is The Pursuit of Happyness, because it's about a gentleman who lost everything, including his wife, and became homeless while raising his son. Because of his fight, endurance, power and will, he never gave up, but he kept pushing to make life better for himself and his son. And because of those reasons he became great. This movie says to me that you may fall down, but you can get back up. As my grandmother always said, "Hard work always pays off."

    One thing that people may not know about me is that, like the young ladies that I serve in my GEMS program, I was at-risk girl when I was growing up.

    When I was growing up I wanted be a teacher, because I had so many wonderful teachers in the Baltimore City public school system.

    The hardest thing about my role is that I cannot save every child, because of some of the situations they may have, such as moving from foster care to foster care. I believe that every child deserves the best. I will continue to work hard for our youth each and every day to make a differences in their lives.