School resource officer’s importance

Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 7:15 PM CDT
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This week a school resource officer stopped a shooter in Maryland.

It brings to the table the importance of school resource officers and the role they play in the life's of children across the U.S. Many anti-gun activist say guns in schools are a bad idea, but are school resource officers the silver lining?

Bismarck and Mandan school leaders say school resource officers connect with the children in a different way. The say this special connection helps students reach out if they see something concerning. Whether it's a high five in the lunch room or a fist bump before class, school resource officers go above and beyond to make a special bond.

"It builds stronger relationships with kids, and in a relationships based business, that helps protect everyone," said Tamara Uselman, Bismarck Public Schools superintendent.

Important pillars in the lives of thousands across the country.

"We want students to be comfortable with telling us information because if we ain't getting the information we can't do our job," said Jason Stugelmeyer, Bismarck Police Department.

School resource officers also keep an extra eye out for anything troubling in schools.

"Much like the incident in Maryland, having a school resource officer on campus is a benefit because you get immediate response to a threat, and that's key," said David Tomlinson, Mandan Middle school resource officer.

People that don't agree with having guns say officers should have a presence in schools.

"I have to yield to that because of the safety of the kids," said Kay Solberg-Link, anti-gun activist.

The Mandan Middle principal says having an officer on campus helps kids.

"That they can talk to and express their concerns and that what bothers them matters," said Ryan Leingang, Mandan Middle principal.

And sometimes, a sit down conversation is all that matters.

As for the conversation on arming teachers, Uselman says teacher's don't seem fond of it.

Officers say they leave it state representatives to decide.