Officers a valuable resource in today’s schools

It takes a special kind of person to be a law enforcement officer … but an even most of those people are not equipped to be school resource officers. As Warren Middle School’s first full-time resource officer, Deputy Brad Holbert is finding out he has what it takes.

“I thought the negative image some kids have of law enforcement might be a challenge, but just being myself works,” he said. “And I’ve got experience that helps, being a father of four and a youth sports coach. I’m an authority figure but also somebody they can talk to. I’ve told all of them that my door’s open, they can come in and talk to me about anything.”

Too many of our kids do not have that opportunity very often — not even at home.

Classroom aide Danielle Boyce explained some of the value of having someone like Holbert around.

“It’s nice to have him around,” she said. “We feel safe, it eases the students’ minds …”

Again, safety and peace of mind are in short supply for too many local students, once they are back home.

Holbert knows that all too well.

“I know in this county there are children who might have seen me in a very negative situation,” he said. “Now, they come to me with important life issues. I’ve told them there’s probably nothing they can tell me that I haven’t seen. I want to build that open relationship.”

It seems as though he is doing just that, and making the school experience better for Warren Middle School students as he perfects his role.