Here are five questions kids ask their school resources officers and some suggested answers.
1) Are you a real police officer?
Absolutely, yes. I attended the police academy, and I’ve worked as a regular Police Constable, doing the regular duties of any police officer. The job that I now have as a school resource officer is a special one that I had to apply for. I chose it because I’m interested in young people like you, and helping you learn about the police force and the way that we can all work together to help make our schools and communities safer, more comfortable places for everyone.
2) Why are you at my school?
I’m at your school, and many other schools in the community, so that you’ll learn that Police Officers are people too, not just robots out doing a job. I’m here so you can ask me questions and learn about police work and the law, and to help you and your teachers with any problems that they might be having. I’m also here to deal with young people who might be on the road to causing problems of their own. I hope that I can work with them now, helping them to learn to take responsibility for their actions before another officer out in the community has to deal with them.
3) Is that a real gun?
Yes it is. I certainly don’t expect to need it while I’m working as a Community Liaison Officer, I might be called on at any moment in the case of an emergency, and I need to be prepared. You don’t need to worry, though. I am using a number of safety systems to make sure that nobody can use it but me. As police officers, we know that carrying a gun is a huge responsibility. My sidearm (that’s what we call our pistols) is just one of many items I have at the ready to help me enforce the law or to help someone who’s having a problem. The most important tool that I carry, however, is right between my ears. It’s my brain!
4) Can you help me if I’m having trouble?
I sure can! Helping you is my chief concern. If you’re having trouble with anything that you think I might be able to help with, you can call me anytime. Your school’s office will have a number that I can be reached at. Any of the adults at the school can contact me, too. So if you’re having trouble that needs my expertise, telling one of them that you wan to talk to me will work. If anyone hurts you, threatens you, or makes you feel uncomfortable, I want to know about it. It doesn't matter who they are – a young person at the school or an older person in the community. As a peace officer, it’s my sworn duty to protect members of the community like you. When you bring a problem to my attention, you’re helping me do my job.
5) How do I become a police officer?
I’m flattered that you asked. It means that my fellow officers and myself must be doing something right. If you want to be a police officer, you can start right now by exercising your brain. Apply yourself to your schoolwork, and keep yourself physically fit. When you graduate from high school, you can choose to go on to College, or apply directly to the Police Academy. It’s very competitive, and we only take the best applicants, but with dedication and perseverance, there’s a good chance you could be wearing a badge someday. Good luck!