Are your kids as safe as possible when they’re at school?
A Tri-State school district is making sure that’s the case– and have brought in a couple new faces to help out.
Students will now see officers Paul Petty and Kenneth Yelloitt roaming the hallways. The new school resource officers are there to make sure all the students in the Pikeland school district are as safe as possible while at school.
Yelliot, the Pittsfield Chief of Police and Petty, the former county sheriff, said their new roles are important.
“We’re really looking forward to it and they’ve welcomed us with open arms,” Petty said. “We’ve had some really good communication both at the front door and just passing in the hallways. I think the teachers are excited about it, I think the student body is excited about it.”
The two officers will spend time in all three schools to accommodate all grade levels on a daily basis– something the district has been wanting to do for about a year now.
Superintendent Paula Hawley, said her students safety is always top of mind. But beyond that, these officers provide additional resources for the students.
“A school resource officer is more than just an officer in the school,” Hawley said. “They provide support for teachers and students. They can mentor students, they can work in the classrooms with the teachers, provide lessons and those types of things as well.”
This is something the students are excited about.
“We’re really excited to have them here and I think it just gives us an extra layer of safety inside the school and the whole district,” Senior Sydney Bauer said.
The school welcomes a pair of well-known officers working to keep your kids safe.
“It’s very important for us in the law enforcement community to stay connected with our youth, and even more so, with our faculty and staff members,” Petty said.
The district’s safety efforts don’t stop there, as the superintendent said there are plans in place to add security systems to secure all the entrances in all of the school buildings. They plan to start that project this summer.
The district is splitting the funding for the officers with the city of Pittsfield. Each will spend about 25,000 dollars.