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School Resource Officers look to connect with students in second year

Lloydminster officers are back in city schools to work with students.

Cst. Michael Hagel is returning as the School Resource Officer for the Lloydminster Catholic School Division and will be based in Holy Rosary High School. While Cst. Kyla Siddell is a first time SRO for the Lloydminster Public School Division and has an office in Lloydminster Comprehensive High School.

Cst. Hagel says he’s excited to return and as he made good connections with students last year.

“I’m hoping to show the students, graduating or coming into kindergarten, police aren’t something to be scared of and you can trust Cst. Hagel and Cst. Siddell and you can trust my partners at the detachment.”

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The SROs talk and play with students in both divisions as well as provide presentations and programs to the schools. Programs planned for this year include “Keep Straight”, an anti-drug program, and a bike rodeo.

“We have a few presentations like ‘Before you hit send’ which talks about cyberbullying and we do the WITS program which is for younger kids. Don’t engage in aggressive behaviour or any violence, walk away and tell someone,” says Cst. Siddell.

In a performance report to council, former SRO Cst. Kirzinger gave guidance in almost 600 cases as well as met with met or contacted parents or guardians of students a total of 12 times in the last school year. Cst. Hagel gave guidance in over 400 cases and met or contacted with parents or guardians 9 times.

The program is now in its second year of a five-year agreement between the City, Lloydminster RCMP, both school boards and the Lloydminster Health Foundation. The city has contributed a total of $465,000 to the program over five years. All parties have an option to opt-out or reconsider the agreement after three years.

Cst. Hagle says he won’t be returning for a third year as he wants more officers to get involved with the program.

“It gives a lot of the members of the office to try something different and it gives the students an opportunity to see other police officers doing different programs. Not everybody polices the same way and not everybody is going to do this program the same way.”

Cst. Siddell hopes to build positive relations between students and police during her time at the school.

“Engaging with the kids and really building those connections with the community and kids is what I’m working towards. Having that connection with youth so that at any point they need something from the police or they want help, they know that it’s a safe place to come.”

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