School Resource Officers Protect Students
May 12, 2017
Officer Bonadurer, the school resource officer for the Matsu Valley, aims to make a stronger connection between police officers and people in the community.
“The reason I became a school resource officer was to show students that the police are here to protect citizens. I come to the school every day with a smile on my face because it makes me more approachable to the students”, said Bonadurer.
The school resource officer program was designed to have police officers in uniform in schools to make their presence known to the community. Officer Bonadurer does the job of being an SRO to make a difference in the schools by showing that police officers are also part of the community.
The SRO program has been in existence since 1953 when Flint Michigan provided the first documented school resource officer to their community. SRO’s were not discussed until the year 1968 when Fresno California police department looked into the school resource officer program. Fresno police department used the SRO program as a tool to reshape the image of the department in the eyes of the youth. The first adaptation of the program started with having plain clothed officers in middle and elementary schools to improve the relationship with the department and young people of the community, which continues to be a goal within the program.
Although Fresno’s program started with nonuniformed officers, it has progressed into what we see today. Usually, in the contemporary modern adaptation of the program, it consists of a uniformed police officer with a marked police vehicle, who is responsible for the safety and protection of school property and students. An SRO is required to be able to communicate effectively with school officials and address a variety of situations. Also, SRO’s must be able to talk to parents, deal with behavioral issues and give presentations on a variety of problems when necessary.
“I have been a police officer for eight years, and the last three I have been a school resource officer, and I have enjoyed being a resource officer in the school district. It has allowed me to make connections with the students and parents of the valley schools” stated Bonadurer. “Even with all of the negative news about police officers, I still do my job the same as before.”
The task of a policeman isn’t to appeal to the wants of the individual. It’s to protect and serve the community. Police officer put their lives on the line to safeguard the people of the city they live in, with the skills they were trained to use.
However, Officer Bonadurers’ contract with the district is up this year, meaning that next school year Wasilla High will have a new resource officer. Bonadurer says that he is going to go back on patrol when his contract is up and will cherish the memories he has made working as a school resource officer. The next SRO the district will have is a police officer named Jeff Sheveland.