Wisconsin Police Partner with Schools to Increase Security
Officer Jason Trimborn said his job as a school resource officer is to “give them the sense of safety, stability, security that comes with having an officer there to be the first line of defense to anything bad that can happen at the school.”
- By Jessica Davis
- November 29, 2018
Schools in Waukesha, Wisc., are adding school resource officers to their campuses to increase security and safety for students and staff.
All three Waukesha high schools have a designated officer, and the three middle schools share an officer. Next year, the district will add a new school resource officer in January and six in August, which will give each middle school campus their own officer.
More school resource officers help mitigate the Waukesha Police Department’s call volume, according to Captain Dan Baumann.
"We don't want to take officers off the road that are reducing crime, fear and disorder in a community […] to pull them off the road to address school related problems that are typically longer in nature, because it's something that we're going to not just handle and move on to we want to really triage and handle that problem to prevent it from happening again," Baumann said.
One of the new school resource officers is Officer Jason Trimborn, who has been with the Waukesha PD for almost a decade. Trimborn said he believes the SRO position requires “a level of training that needs to be constantly evolving, because school safety is important and school violence isn't going away anytime soon.”
Trimborn said his job as a school resource officer is to “give them the sense of safety, stability, security that comes with having an officer there to be the first line of defense to anything bad that can happen at the school.”
According to Baumann, school resource officers work to build relationships with students.
"Studies show that the use of force involved in police interactions specifically in an academic environment are significantly reduced when you have somebody that is dealing with somebody in crisis," Baumann said.
Police officers are also spending time on the campuses of elementary schools and early learning centers for the “Adopt a School Program,” where patrol officers visit with students during lunch, recess and gym to teach them about what officers do.
In addition, police work with schools for the Handle with Care Program, where a patrol officer alerts the SRO or district if they encounter a child in a traumatic or crisis situation while on patrol. "It's not going to be very detailed. It could just say there was a domestic situation, there's a mental health crisis," Baumann said.
The district also works with law enforcement for a Career Exploration Program, where high school students can spend eight weeks with police and eight weeks with the fire department to learn about their duties for school credit.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.