McLean County welcomes first-ever SRO
McLean County welcomed their first school resource officer this month.
These officers play many roles, one of the biggest is to ensure the safety of the children.
The McLean County School Resource Officer position was funded by the Three Affiliated Tribes, the Garrison school district and the county.
Schools in Garrison are already seeing the benefits of having Deputy Dave around. They say it helps the students see officers in a different light.
High fives and talks in the hallway with a deputy is now the new normal for students in Garrison.
"It's really special to me because I never actually met a real police officer before," said Mccall Chase, first grader.
Deputy David Kamp is the first SRO in the county.
"The visibility and officer presence is awesome and the community is already seeing that," said JR Kerzmann, McLean County sheriff.
He makes rounds through classrooms and sometimes even eats lunch with the kids.
"The presence of having the SRO here and then building some of those relationships to help make kids feel like they're a part of something bigger than themselves," said Kristopher Heiple, school counselor.
Kamp says his job is bigger than just keeping the children safe.
"Try to tear down the stereotypes of law enforcement that some kids maybe have towards us. Maybe they look at us as negative and I want to build that and make it a positive experience for them," said Kamp.
Mentoring and education are also a big part of what he does. And hugs, well those are a bonus.
The sheriff's department hopes more schools like the one here in Garrison join in and have SROs in their districts.