SRO’s making a difference in student’s lives
February 3, 2012
Not very many Moffat County High School students realize what a school resource officer does. Junior Ben East doesn't even know what they are. Freshman Laura Secules likes to chat with them every now and then at the police station, but she doesn't know them on more than a personal level.
Student Resource Officer Norm Rimmer says they actually have really good relationships with students. "Our number one priority is to be a good mentor to kids," he said. Rimmer and Student Resource Officer Tony Gianetti likes to interact with students in the hallways. They also like to hang out with kids at lunch. This way they can build better relationships.
The most common problems that Rimmer comes across are bullying, harassment and fights. He says that when it comes to fights, it's a lot more beneficial to the students if they come to him before they fight. This way he can help resolve the conflict and no one gets suspended or has to face criminal charges. Rimmer believes that having SRO's does make a difference in students' lives. This is because the only time that students ever have to deal with police officers is when there's an issue. In his position, they get to deal with kids everyday. At school he is able to talk to them as people instead of witnesses or suspects. Rimmer looks at his job in the form of a triangle, "I basically have three responsibilities: as a teacher, a mentor, and as a police officer. First and foremost, as a police officer." He doesn't spend much time up at the high school, only about three to four hours a week. This is because he is based in the middle school.
Officer Gianetti, however, works mainly at the high school. He says that he and the students often joke with each other. The problems that he deals with the most include fights, assaults, and child abuse. "The main job is to make sure kids are safe at school and at home," says Gianetti. He spends most of his time either conversing with students or popping into classes such as Criminology to speak to the kids about his job. Gianetti's job means a lot to him. He originally went to college to become a teacher, but he ended up in law enforcement. He likes this branch of the enforcement because he is still able to work with kids. He hopes that they realize that police officers aren't just there to harass people and give them tickets. He thinks that being in this position shows that officers are there to help kids. When they are not busy, the SRO's enjoy dropping by the elementary schools to have lunch with the younger students. Even though most students know them as friends anyone can share a good laugh with, they still play a very important role in keeping our school system safe.