Monday, October 1, 2012

Bring back the School Resource Officer Program

The following letter appears in the Hoboken Reporter on September 23, 2012

Dear Editor:

First, I would like to wish all of our city’s students, teachers, and parents a wonderful start to a successful school year. It is an exciting time, an optimistic time and a time for the entire community to join together in support of our most precious resource, our children. Good luck to everyone!

I would also like to speak briefly in support of raising awareness of a program that, unfortunately, is no longer in place in our schools. I am talking about the School Resource Officer Program. At its height three years ago, there were 10 officers assigned to monitor our public schools. These specially trained officers did much more than patrol our schools and surrounding area. These officers were knowledgeable in identifying troubled students and in positively intervening in their lives. Some were coaches, some were informal tutors, all were mentors who followed student’s academic and personal careers. A police presence should not be a negative part of a young person’s life.

I believe most children, as well as parents, found comfort seeing an officer at their school. A kind word, a friendly face, and a positive figure of authority is beneficial in every child’s life. I encourage our city’s leaders in City Hall and the Board of Education to strongly consider reinstating this program in our schools as soon as possible.

A Concerned Citizen