BOZEMAN — School Resource Officers are sworn police officers that work to keep schools safe.
Officers wear multiple hats on the job and their responsibilities range.
They work on school campuses and can detain or arrest students if they’re caught breaking the law, and can patrol school grounds to make sure schools are safe for learning.
“So a big part of that right now is being visible but we’re also working on trying to coordinate with the education and prevention pieces that we will be providing to the schools, students, and staff,” said Sergeant Hal Richardson, school resource officer in Bozeman.
The Bozeman Police Department recently hired two new student resource officers to help continue to reduce crime, drug abuse and violence in Bozeman schools.
Officer Tankink is one of the new members of the team and has kept busy in the early weeks of school.
“Busy is an understatement, but in a good way,” said Tankink. “I’ve been able to meet a ton of new people. Teachers and students and school officials, and just trying to work with them, get to know them, see their expectations, kinda know what my expectations are of them and them of me, vice-versa and just kinda work on that for a common goal.”
Currently there are 4 student resource officers that work between Bozeman's high school, middle schools and elementary schools.
That number is expected to be either 5 or 6 in the next few years to reflect the needs of the Bozeman School District’s growth.
The Bozeman Police Department says the student resource officers are keeping schools safe, not just by preventing crime, but also by creating relationships.
“We’re here to help build relationships, not just the students but the whole community,” said Sgt. Richardson.
“We want to make sure that our schools are safe and provide a safe space for your students to come to school every day.”