Officer Barry Smith is back at work after being struck by a car in October.

Stow Police said Monday that Smith was returning after healing from his injuries. Smith works as a resource officer at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and Principal Jeffrey Hartmann said they are glad he’s back.

"Barry has been an integral part of our school community for a number of years, so his presence was definitely missed," Hartmann said.

Since October, Hartmann said, the school has been working with Stow Police to have officers fill in for Smith. He said the officers who filled in did a fantastic job, but Smith’s departure meant a lot of tasks fell on other people’s shoulders.

"We came to a very clear understanding of just how much Officer Smith did when he was away," Hartmann said.

Hartmann said school resource officers have become a critical part of protecting school safety, acting as liaisons between schools and police. They are a visible presence before, during and after school hours, investigate situations and develop relationships throughout the school.

With Smith returning, Hartmann, said many things at the school will be able to return to normal.

Stow Police said in October that Smith was struck when directing traffic at the scene of a two-vehicle crash at Graham and Fishcreek roads. Smith was wearing reflective clothing at the time, and multiple emergency vehicles were present.

Police urged at the time that at any accident scene, but especially during inclement weather, drivers need to be vigilant and patient while emergency services are clearing the scene.

Reach Beacon Journal reporter Sean McDonnell at mcdonnell@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3186.