Resource officers in the school divisions will be working closely with youth to help improve their future
Next year students will see new faces walking in the halls now that RCMP and the school divisions are implementing two full-time Resource officers. Lloydminster RCMP Sergeant Sarah Knelson says having the SROs present to interact with the schools students shows how important they are to the future of the city.
“They will be addressing calls for service that do coming in at each school. They will also not just be addressing concerns but they will interacting with the youth and children in the schools, they will be doing bike rodeos, they will be doing school presentations, they will be playing football with one of the classes in the afternoon if that’s what’s required.”
Knelson adds the officers will be a point of contact for staff and school divisions if any questions are raised. The divisions will each have one officer that will travel between schools in the day to interact with students and go where needed.
“They will not jump back and forth. They will help each other out if they require for questions, maybe they will share presentations but one officer will be in the public school division and one will be Catholic school division.”
The decision to add the SROs came through a partnership between the Lloydminster RCMP, school board and the health foundation. LCSD Director of Education Nigel McCarthy says the fact that all parties have come together shows the unity within the city.
“The partnership that we have been able to build is really the rewarding piece to all of this. When a city, two school divisions and a significant donor, who has really managed to make this happen, can come together around the needs of children, nothing is better.”
LPSD Director of Education Todd Richardson says there are many hurdles kids have to take and having resource officers there as role models and someone to go to will go a long way in the community.
“Positive relationships with our RCMP that will help keep kids from choosing high-risk lifestyles and not exposing themselves to the risk of mental health issues is certainly a primary focus of this.”
Feedback from the school divisions, schools and Resource officers will be used to track the impact the RSOs have had and will be reevaluated in a year. Constable Grant Kirzinger will be one of the resource officers and Sergeant Knelson says the other SRO will be hired from Lloydminster RCMP.