After the position sat vacant within the city for more than 15 years, Katherine Lowery has been working as the city’s new school resource officer since April.
“It’s encouraging to work with Orland Unified as they have such admiration and hope for their students, this opportunity allowed us to fill a position that was so needed in our schools,” Lowery said.
Since starting in this new role just a few weeks ago, Lowery said her favorite part is that positive bridge between students and law enforcement.
“It’s super exciting when I visit schools and have students come up to me and tell me they want to be a cop when they grow up,” Lowery said. “I can inspire that dream, answer their questions, and show them that one day they can be a cop if they really want to.”
Lowery said she was a small town, country girl at heart who grew up in Glenn County. After graduating from Hamilton High School in 2008, she pursued her dreams in law enforcement, working first in juvenile hall and then as a community services officer for the police department. of Orland before becoming an Orland police officer.
Lowery said her previous work at a juvenile ward had opened her heart to working with young people, especially this at-risk youth population, so she was thrilled when the Orland Police Department received funding to create again a position of school resource officer.
“With the local juvenile hall closing, I got a job with the Orland Police Department also doing what I love, being a police officer,” Lowery said. “This role as SRO gives me the opportunity to still be a police officer and have the opportunity to work with young people, schools and be that positive influence and role model for children.”
The position will be funded by a nearly $400,000 Department of Justice grant under the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, for which the Glenn County Office of Education received the approval in November.
This grant, according to a staff report, will reimburse the city for approximately two and a half years and allow the Orland Police Department to hire a resource officer to visit the city’s five schools as well as elementary schools. Plaza and Lake. schools in the rural area around Orland.
Lowery said her new role is to work with the Student Advisory Review Board (SARB) to improve student attendance at school, be present on school campuses and engage with young people, be available to staff school as needed, attend school functions and events and much more. .
“I really want to continue to be in schools and engage with students,” Lowery said. “A major priority is to reduce fighting and drugs on school campuses. An ongoing focus will be with the SARB and increasing student attendance. We have great teachers in our schools. We just need to make sure that students come to class. Over the next three years as SRO, I look forward to making the most of this position.”