Class Act: School Resource Officers

Officer John Cook

HELENA – The Helena Police Department has a number of new school resource officers in public schools this year.

The school resource officer position is designed to be different than the patrol division.

Like the patrol division, the officer responds to a call, helps and takes care of that situation. But the school resource officer also protects and mentors students who walk the halls of the Helena schools.

“And that’s something I’m very excited about I’m excited to spend more time working with people working on certain issues and those types of things,” said Andrew Barton, Helena Police Officer. Officer Barton is new to the position this year.

Two other new school resource officers, Tyler Wood and Bryan Haven will join the team along with officer Jon Cook who will be returning this year. The officers will start next Wednesday, Aug. 30, on the first day of school.

“What our goals is, is to show that we are approachable because (when) dealing with kids it’s important to be approachable,” said Cook.

The officers patrol the halls of Helena high schools and middles schools. They even have their own offices on campus.

“They get to see us every day so we do get to hopefully create some lasting relationships and by doing that they are able to see us as people and not somebody in a uniform,” said Cook.

This time of year is busy, students will return to class next week, that means lots of kids will be in and around schools, safety is important.

“Patrol and us will be actively enforcing the speed zones specifically with speed zones and cross walks, don’t forget if someone is in the crosswalk you have to yield to them, give them the right away to safely cross the street,” said Barton.

“Please use exit caution, and as far as parents, please don’t drop your children off, while you’re still in the road way,” said Cook.