Monday, 17 June 2013 08:54

School resource officer making connections

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Prairie Rose School Division board trustees learned more about the work being done in schools with the school resource officer based out of the Redcliff RCMP detachment.

Members of the detachment attended the May 28 regular meeting to talk about the position.
Const. Brayden Stephenson fills the role which has been split into a community resource officer and a school resource officer along with a municipal traffic enforcement component.
He says as a school resource officer he makes impromptu visits to the schools in Redcliff and Dunmore and deals with any criminal issues that may arise in the schools. He also gives presentations when requested and helps with the safety and emergency preparedness plans for the schools. The DARE program is still underway for students but is done by other officers until Stephenson is trained in the program.
“My community resource role is dealing with the whole community at this point,” he said.
He takes part in community events such as law day and Elkwater’s safety day, does presentations to private companies about safe driving practises, takes part in the PARTY program and car seat clinics and any other events that require a police presence.
As far as municipal enforcement, Stephenson mainly does that in the Town of Redcliff monitoring playground and school zones to catch speeders.
He does have regular hours each week when he can be found at Eagle Butte High School in Dunmore.
He balances his time between all the roles as well as regular policing duties such as paperwork or appearing in court.
Stephenson’s week consists of three day shifts and two night shifts, mainly falling on the Friday and Saturday evenings. That way he gets to know the students who may be out those evenings.
Detachment commander Dave Ness says Stephenson has flexibility when it comes to filling all the roles of his job. He pointed out there is no funding coming to the detachment from the school division or government for the school resource officer position.
“It’s a position we’ve taken out of our detachment because we feel there is great value for it,” he added.
Brian Andjelic, deputy superintendent, said there was a time when Prairie Rose was providing some funding for the position, but that is no longer the case.
“There’s no question from the perspective of the (school) principals how important this work is to them,” he said.
“This is very important for our schools,” added Superintendent Doug Nicholls.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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