Retired officer, new school resource officers focus on relationships – School News Network


Wyoming — In a comfortable chair in Mike Moore’s office, a boy took time to reflect on his thoughts after having had a rough morning and needing a break from his school day.

After talking for a while, the boy was ready to go back to class. Moore encouraged him, “Come on. I will accompany you. It sounds good ? »

Moments later, Moore was in the Wyoming Middle School cafeteria, surrounded by excited 10- and 11-year-olds talking about recess while eating pizza and drinking chocolate milk.

Moore recently retired after 27 years with the Wyoming City Police Department. He has spent the past four years as the district’s school resource officer and was recently hired there in a dual role as chief of security and student advocate.

“We are also humans. It’s just a uniform we wear.

– School Resource Officer Tony Jacobs

He now spends the majority of his days amidst the buzz of activity at the fifth and sixth grade school, working with students through the ups and downs of their days. It was the part of his job that he always enjoyed as an officer stationed in the schools. He smiles widely as it is now his retirement concert.

“It’s basically about connecting with the kids, working with the kids. If a child is having a hard day, my office is a place where they can come and relax and sit down. We discuss things and then bring them back to class. Ultimately, the goal is to keep them in class, to keep them in school, and to try to reduce any issues that may derail them.

His teddy bear presence is felt even without his police uniform. He dropped the title “officer” from his name, and to students and staff these days, he’s Mr. Moore.

“I love working with children. They are fun and they keep me young. It’s nice to be able to make those connections.

He said he recently attended a training where the presenter said it only takes one connection with an adult to make a difference in a child’s life. “Maybe somewhere along the line I can be that link to keep them on track,” he said.

At a time when the threat of school violence is all too real, Moore is also working on ways to improve safety standards and provide district-wide training. His work includes revamping the district’s emergency operations plan; updating a training program called Stop the Bleed, which the district last hosted in 2019; and planning active firing protocol training for new staff. He also works with the district nurse to ensure that all staff are trained in CPR and first aid.

From left, Wyoming High School juniors Alexander De La Rosa and Zander Creamer chat with Officer Tony Jacobs

Extend Security, Advocacy

Expanded security also addresses student and school security needs, Superintendent Craig Hoekstra said.

Joining Moore on the district’s safety and security team, through a partnership with the City of Wyoming, are new school resource officers Tony Jacobs and Ben Mouch, who are also both focused on relationship building. , while addressing school safety issues and ensuring schools are safe. The posts, including Moore’s, are funded by 31a At risk Michigan State dollars.

Jacobs – also known as ‘Officer Tony’ – said he enjoyed his first weeks at school after more than 12 years on patrol and with the city’s tactical arrest and confrontation team of Wyoming. It serves Wyoming High School, Wyoming Intermediate School, Oriole Park, and West Elementary Schools.

“If a child is having a hard day, my office is a place where they can come and relax and sit down. We discuss things and then bring them back to class.

– Mike Moore, Safety and Security Manager and Student Advocate

He has already spontaneously joined students in an elementary gym class and spends a lot of time getting to know them.

“Most of the time I talked to them about safety and why I’m at school, making sure they understand that I’m a safe person. I am here to protect them,” he said. “These days, with all the going on and all the negative press the police are getting, it’s more important than ever to build relationships at an early age.”

Officer Ben Mouch specifically requested work at Wyoming Junior High

He recently spent time in the high school dining hall chatting with school students, teachers and the first home football game of the year. His goal is for them to see him as more than a cop.

“We are also humans. It’s just a uniform we wear.

School Resource Officer Ben Mouch—or “Officer Ben”—also gets to know students while serving at Wyoming Junior High School, the Regional Center, and Parkview, Gladiola, and Huntington Woods elementary schools. He served in the Wyoming city force for a year and a half after five years as an officer in Ohio, and looks forward to being “another helping hand in making sure everyone learns “.

“I specifically chose the role of junior high. I can really relate to that age of the kids. They’re still in that tough transition phase. I really enjoy interacting with them and making sure they have a good day. They are still children, but they are discovering how to live in an adult world.

He knows that some students and their parents have had negative interactions with police officers, and he wants them to have positive ones.

“They can connect with me as Ben and also (as) a policeman.”

Wyoming High School freshman Tina Vo said she enjoyed Jacobs’ presence in the building.

“It makes me feel more comfortable and safe. Having a police officer is good for making sure everything is coordinated and organised, and it creates a better learning environment.

Officer Tony Jacobs splits his time at several schools, including Wyoming High School

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