Come home to Highland!
HIGHLAND SCHOOL PARTNERS
Keeping Highland students safe prompted the School and Civil towns to establish a partnership benefitting every school child in town. That was more than 20 years ago.
Today, the Police Department dedicates one officer to the schools each year to continue that legacy. For the last decade, Sergeant Mike O’Donnell has been School Resource Officer and charged with the responsibility of overseeing security within the schools.
O’Donnell also answers calls for police assistance that occur in any of the public schools, which includes Highland High, Highland Middle and Johnston, Merkley Sourthridge and Warren elementary schools.
The SRO program is an integral part of the community policing philosophy which stresses the importance of a positive working relationship between police and the school community. The positive working relationship along with a safe learning environment cultivates a climate where students can excel. Primary duties of the SRO include:
• Providing for the safety and security of the school’s students, faculty and staff.
• Providing classroom instruction to students ranging from the proper use of the 911 telephone system at the kindergarten level to search and seizure (fourth amendment) issues in the high school
• Investigating theft and substance abuse allegations as well as residency violations.
• Teaching the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang resistance education and training) program to seventh graders enrolled in the public and private schools. GREAT is a thirteen-week curriculum sponsored through the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
• Coordinating the two-week summer GREAT. program.
For the last two decades, Highland Police have worked with school children in the summers as part of the Gang Resistance Education and Training program and this summer was no exception.
For several weeks in early summer, Police Sergeant Michael O’Donnell, the town’s school resource officer, led a group of enthusiastic school children through activities that focused on team-building and empowering pre-teens to make positive life choices.
G.R.E.A.T. is a national program developed and sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Visit www.ojjdp.gov to learn more.
Highland Police Department
3315 Ridge Road
Highland, IN 46322
Fax: (219) 972-5095