Along the way of the Covid-19 pandemic and everything reopening, we have all witnessed a lot of tragic events, and heartbreaking moments. These moments are what gives many people uneasy feelings, especially when it comes to putting their children back in school. A hot topic with kids going back to school with them reopening is if there is a need to have police officers on campus.
There is a lot of controversy going around about law enforcement right now. You have groups of people saying they are bad and out there to do harm rather than good. Do we really want our children to grow up fearing law enforcement? No, of course not. As children and as adults we should know that police officers are a safe place, they are someone we can go to when we feel vulnerable. But instead, we have those feelings of distrust being fueled and exacerbated by adults.
Imagine what it feels like if you are constantly told cops are out to get you, that they are inherently there to do you harm. It is important to repair the relationship between students and police officers especially after the Covid-19 Pandemic. This does not have to be this way if you let police officers meet their expectations of their role. With the debates over school resource officers (SROs) in schools, some administrators do not seem to know exactly what having an off-duty officer on campus can do.
SROs are there for protection and as a deterrence. Studies have shown that off-duty police officers on school campus spend a substantial amount of time mentoring students, strengthening community relations, and providing medical assistance when needed. These roles are where SROs can truly shine. When having off duty officers present in schools this can give students a positive outlook on police officers. In school we know kids can be drawn to the wrong type of crowds, deal with bullying etc. this is where they can step in, they can help guide students with advice and have your back.
We must remember that all professions have bad apples, but it makes little to no sense to judge all police officers because of the bad apples among them. On or off duty, police officers are there to protect and to serve.
We all know our children are the most important thing to us. Knowing we can take them to a place they are safe without us being able to be around, brings us great peace of mind. While schools re-open, and we all slowly get back to our normal lives, we can be sure that there will be a little less stress in knowing that our children are safe.