I am a Grade 12 student at CWDHS. I recently read an article in the Advertiser about the concern with the presence of police officers in the high schools and a possible consideration to remove them from our schools. I personally think it would be a poor and misguided decision to go through with the removal of police presence from our high schools for a few reasons.
First of all, from my experiences at CWDHS, our resource officers have been nothing but helpful, kind, and respected members of the community.
Although I do not know our resource officer on a personal level she can be seen most lunches helping out in the toonie lunch line whether it’s by serving food, taking the money, or helping Chef D. She always does it with a smile and says hi to people in line. The officers are also there to educate. They do talks on impaired driving and teach students about the importance of having a designated driver, not driving impaired, and so on. I believe these talks save lives and are crucial for students to hear.
Secondly, I think that an officer in our school brings a sense of security. Considering last year our school did receive a possible gun threat that was investigated and was deemed as not a threat, it still brings a sense of security that if something were to happen, we have an armed officer at our school.
Third and finally, the entire goal of having a resource officer in the school is to build positive relationships within our school with students. I believe this is the most important point.
The OPP said it themselves in the article in the Advertiser that “The goal of our presence in schools is to strengthen relationships by providing positive opportunities for interaction between young people and the police.”
I believe this 100 percent. The officers are not there to look over our shoulders and make sure we aren’t on our phones in class but they are there to build relationships and teach us that cops are humans too. You can talk to a cop like you talk to a teacher. They will respect you the same way.
I think we need to remember that cops are humans, they are our neighbors, family, and our friends. Students need to be exposed to police officers so they are familiar. Police officers want the best for our communities and are there to help. We need students to understand this and understand that cops are not out to get them.
To conclude, I strongly recommend you reconsider any thoughts to remove police presence from our schools as they are a part of our school’s community. They help out around the school, protect us, inform us, educate us, and build positive relationships with students becoming our friends.
The program shows us that cops are regular humans and are here to help. They are truly beneficial to our future interactions with police and becoming a more informed and safe community.