Permanent police presence with Officer Andre

By Karina Rook

My kid’s Middle School has a police officer permanently stationed at the school. He has his own car park too – the best one right in front of the school office.

The school has 1,100 students covering grades 6, 7 and 8. They are not violent, there are no gangs, they are nice middle-class kids.

Officer Andre supervises the morning drop-offs, then stays in the school office during class time. Over the 40min lunch break he patrols the school yard and again supervises the pick-ups at the end of the school day. My daughter thinks it’s kind of creepy having a policeman watch over you, my son likes Officer Andre because he handed out free t-shirts last year.

Our city government funds the local police department and they have two full-time officers assigned to the Youth Services division. The want to be more pro-active when it comes to youth and crime and spend time with the local kids at school. They run an education program in elementary school called G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance Education and Training). In their words “…it’s a pre-emptive strike on criminal activity and youth violence…”.

I’m not sure how I feel about Officer Andre …… it seems like overkill and I generally don’t agree with the overprotective attitude towards kids and their safety. Apparently he’s a really nice guy though.