Price police, school district launch law enforcement resource program
|Former drug task force member Rob Radley will serve as the resource law enforcement officer at Carbon district's public schools in Price city. Radley will be headquartered at Mont Harmon Junior High|
During the Aug. 7 city council meeting, local administrative and law enforcement officials discussed the details involved with instituting Price's first school resource officer.
According to Aleck Shilaos, the SRO program was developed after Carbon School District administrator Judy Mainord approached the police chief about better law enforcement at Price schools.
The SRO will be a full-time, POST trained law enforcement officer who has been certified by the Utah Crime Prevention Center.
The SRO will assist the school district and students within Price city at Mont Harmon, Carbon High and the Lighthouse.
"We have seen a 40 percent increase in our juvenile related activities within the last two years," commented the police chief. "And most of these calls took place during school hours. If I am sending police officers to the schools on that regular of a basis, it can become very difficult to cover the rest of the city."
To gain city wide approval for the endeavor, Shilaos met with Price Mayor Joe Piccolo, school district superintendent Patsy Bueno and Mainord.
After coming to an agreement on the institution and duties of the officer, the parties presented the program to their respective boards and the project was met with unanimous approval, according to Shilaos.
The first law enforcement officer to take the position will be former Carbon Metro Drug Task Force Member Robb Radley.
Duties of the SRO, who will be based at Mont Harmon Junior High, will include:
Assisting the district in providing a safe learning environment and improving the working relationship among law enforcement officers, educational staff, students and parents.
Promoting a better understanding of a law enforcement officers role in society.
Assisting in the protection of students, staff and school guests from unlawful acts and to assist in the maintenance of order in the district's schools. Including school sponsored extra-curricular activities.
Advising the staff members of the district's schools in safety matters and violence reduction and prevention strategies.
Participating, at the request of and with the approval of the chief of police in educational programs designed to increase students' knowledge of and respect for the criminal justice system.
Reacting swiftly and cooperatively when responding to major disruptions and flagrant criminal offenses at the schools.
Working with other law enforcement agencies when a crime has been discovered to have been committed in another jurisdiction but involves district students.
Cooperating with law enforcement officials in their investigations of criminal offenses which occur off campus.
Assisting in coordinating traffic control efforts near and around school activities.
Radley, who spent seven years with the Midvale Police and worked as an SRO at Hillcrest High School was a natural choice, according to chief Shilaos.
"Although this officer will be a post certified police official, he will focus his energies on prevention and education with students using enforcement only when needed," explained Shilaos.
During the council meeting, Shilaos explained that the position will be assigned on a year and a half rotating basis giving all Price City Police officers the eventual opportunity to fill SRO position.
"This rotation that Chief Shilaos uses within the department is something I see as very wise," commented mayor Piccolo. "It insures that our police force as a whole is a well rounded and educated unit."
Shilaos uses this tactic in all facets of the department. It is his feeling that providing city officers with the opportunity to investigate, work the street, write their own warrants and now work with the district makes the Price Police a very effective law enforcement unit.
Shilaos further discussed the different tactics that the SRO will use in local schools.
"Prevention will really be a big part of this officer's duties," commented Shilaos. "Once he identifies a student who is in trouble, or close to it, our officer will have the full range of community assets behind him. The coordination of these assets will be invaluable in assisting our student population."
The assets that the chief speaks of include the SRO's direct access to the Division of Child and Family Services, Four Corners Behavioral Health as well as school and law enforcement counseling programs.
"This program is going to allow the kids to get to know us and give us the opportunity to know the kids," concluded the chief. "And I believe that knowledge and the relationship that follows will benefit law enforcement and students alike."