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Great, Proactive Move by Wyandotte Schools and Chief of Police

Roosevelt High School, Wyandotte MI
Dwight Burdette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is my opinion, that providing safety for its citizens, especially children, is THE primary function of government. Wyandotte's school, city, and police leadership seem to clearly understand that responsibility and are working together in an effort to provide it.

It was recently reported that they are in the process of approving the hiring of two School Resource Officers (SRO). These officers are a crucial part of any school safety program and I commend Wyandotte's leadership for not only recognizing this but also taking the steps necessary to address it. Wyandotte schools have approximately 4,500 students and nearly 300 staff. This is not only a lot of people, it is a concentration of some of our most vulnerable and precious people. The fact that Wyandotte leaders are exploring the hiring of two SROs for their schools, when many districts of similar size resist hiring one, should be recognized and commended.

For those who are unaware, SROs receive specialized training, in addition to that of other law-enforcement officers, so they may be more understanding of juveniles and their needs as well as the nuances of juvenile law. Because they are seen often by the children, their presence is not startling to the kids and acts as a constant reassurance that there is someone there to protect them should the unthinkable happen. The personal relationships SROs develop with both the kids and the school administrators allows them to be involved early in situations where there is concern for a child's life circumstances or conduct. Their involvement helps to arrive at solutions that prevent the child from being harmed or causing harm to themselves, others or their future. These officers also provide another source of assistance and information for parents to explore when dealing with issues related to a troubled child.

As an added benefit to the City of Wyandotte (and other municipalities, that should consider doing the same), the Michigan Legislature recently proposed and passed a bill that will hopefully, amongst other things, help fund these positions; making residents who are concerned with the cost, a little more accepting of these much-needed positions.

To all those involved, I say - Great Job! And, I look forward to hearing that the process is complete and the SROs are in the schools.

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