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School Safety in Cass County

I announced my campaign for Cass County Sheriff January 2020 and in August 2021 I was promoted from a patrol officer to the School Resource Officer (commonly referred to as an SRO) for the Plattsmouth Community Schools. The Plattsmouth Police Department earned the opportunity to take over the SRO duties from the Cass County Sheriff's Office. Plattsmouth High School is where I started this journey, and I am proud to say I am a graduate of PHS. #PlattsmouthPride
From the start of this school year I was welcomed by not only the staff, but also the smiles and “good morning” from the students each day. I quickly began to especially enjoy and look forward to daily ongoing conversations with students and staff that sometimes start on one day and continue the next day. Being part of Plattsmouth Community Schools feels like FAMILY. The position of SRO is very different than other police officer roles. As SRO I assist the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure environment. The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter negative behavior and crimes. Because I am already at the schools I am immediately available to school administrators as situations develop. More dangerous and significant situations like possible weapons violations or identifying illegal controlled dangerous substances can be handled by the SRO swiftly and efficiently. As an SRO I act as an educator of law. I'm available to teachers and students to share my experience and expertise. My knowledge of the law compliments to the school's curriculum and policies. I get the opportunity to interact with students and discuss law-related issues on a daily basis. Part of this position entails educating students about criminal statutes so as they grow into young adults they can lead a successful journey. Most of my interactions with students are overwhelmingly positive. Routinely being at the school makes me a familiar face and helps me to build trust and cooperation when issues do arise. Being the SRO creates relationships and opportunities to act as a law counselor, although officers are frequently called upon to help resolve problems that are not necessarily criminal matters. SRO's and school staff, especially counselors, are able to combine their knowledge and resources and better resolve challenges students may struggle with. Critical Incidents like active shooter situations at schools are a real and serious issue. A well-trained SRO can provide active threat analysis and school vulnerability assessments on an ongoing basis. Simple things like, being familiar with the layout of the building, can a huge advantage to dealing with any critical incident. If an active shooter situation was to occur every second counts. Having an SRO at the school to intervene is a proven way to save lives. Communication is the foundation for a strong school safety program, and it starts with building relationships between law enforcement and school administrators. As I look into the future Plattsmouth Board of Education made the RIGHT decision by giving the School Resource Officer contract to the Plattsmouth Police Department.
There are other school districts in Cass County that would greatly benefit from having officers be a routine presence. When I am elected as Cass County Sheriff I want to work closely with the other school districts that are interested in law enforcement in their schools. I accepted the promotion to SRO with a planned purpose. I plan to use my training and experience as an SRO to build and maintain relationships with school leaders. Law enforcement and school leaders can share ideas, training resources, and even collaborate on grants. It is time to create a plan for safer schools through my campaign "New Leadership, New Direction". #NewLeadershipNewDirection

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