School resource officers good addition to communities

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MANDAN. N.D. - It can certainly pay off if you already have a police officer inside when there's a shelter in place or lockdown. School resource officers are assigned to be there throughout the day. They walk the halls and get to know the kids.

"I get to eat lunch with them as well, be involved in some of their sports activities that they do. My biggest thing, biggest role here, is to be a positive mentor for the students here at the school," said David Tomlinson, Mandan Police Dept.

Tomlinson has been the SRO for Mandan Middle School for about two years.

"When there isn't crisis situations he does a really good job of developing and maintaining those relationships. He'll join in our social skill lessons, he helps de-escalate kids, it's a lot more than you would think just a police officer would do," said Ashley Brown, Mandan Middle School special education teacher.

Having an officer in the building does help in a crisis, they can respond immediately should the school need to go into shelter in place or lockdown.

"We are very fortunate to have an SRO here at Mandan Middle School, and if it were possible, I'd like to see that every school in the state has an SRO officer because they are very beneficial for the students," said Tom Peters, Mandan Middle School Assistant Principal.

The North Dakota Association of School Resource Officers formed just over two years ago to help officers share ideas across the state.

For more information about School Resource Officers, go to ndasro.org.