School Resource Officers attend trainingBy Brittney Knox Published 5:50pm Friday, April 12, 2013
In addition to ensuring the safety of the students and administrators of Demopolis City Schools, school resource officers Marcus Williams and William Gulley also feel their job involves a lot more and that’s – developing relationships with the students.
“I try to make sure they know that police officers…we are human too,” Gulley said. “I want them to know they can come and talk to me.”
The school resource officers (SRO) for Demopolis City Schools recently attended a training in Opelika to equip them with more knowledge and skills in their roles at the schools.
The training sought to ensure the officers were knowledgeable of laws affecting juveniles and simulate various situations an SRO may face on the job.
“We are here to monitor what happens at the schools,” Williams said. “I want to assist the teachers in any way that I can.”
There were various SROs in attendance from all over the state and even some from Tennessee.
“One of things I will take away from the training is not only tips about interacting with the students, but parents and the administration as well,” Gulley said.
Williams said some of his days would consist of aiding the teachers, doing walk-throughs of the premises and attending to any incidents that occur in the schools.
“I think the kids are much more relaxed when they see us in the schools, we also have prevented a lot of things from happening,” he said. “I know the parents appreciate it.”
One issue, Gulley as well as administrators at Demopolis High School are tackling is bullying. He said sometimes he gives a presentation on bullying to educate the students about the negative impact it can have on another person.
“We work on a lot of different things, sometimes we are sort of like informal counselors with issues like bullying,” he said. “We are there when students want someone to talk to.”
Gulley said he has seen some changes in some of the students since starting as the school resource officer in August 2012.
He said just as he seeks to be a role model for his six-year-old son, he tries to devote his time to getting to know the students in hopes of being a role model for them as well.
“I want the students to know that we all make mistakes, but we all have to learn from those mistakes to grow,” he said.