- Ackerman School
Showing Appreciation for Law Enforcement Officers at SSD
January 10, 2022 - Over 45 police officers provide security at SSD schools. Their presence is necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff and take action during unprecedented events. In recognition of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9, thank you to all the officers who put themselves in harm’s way to keep our schools safe and to the law enforcement instructors who use their expertise and work history as former officers to teach students interested in going into the field.
Neil French is the Student Resource Officer (SRO) at North Tech High School. He previously worked as a Florissant police officer and in the St. Louis County crime scene division. On a typical day, he prioritizes greeting students when they first arrive, walking the halls, and handling any problems – with only having to address one major incident in his three years of working at the school.
While the safety of students and staff is essential, French says it is equally important for him to get to know the students. “I love interacting with the students,” said French. “An SRO’s job should include understanding the students, getting to know them, and having them open up.”
French is also no stranger to assisting teachers with presentations that cover safety and crime. He is a familiar face to those in the law enforcement program where he often conducts mock crime scenes. Senior Jasmine Edwards is in the class and decided to pursue law enforcement because her dad is a police officer and, after doing some research, thought it was an interesting field. Senior Kanaaya Rhimes would like to be a dispatcher, and Anniece Norman would like to become a police officer to get justice for those who have lost loved ones.
They all say that law enforcement officers should be appreciated because they risk their lives every day they are on the job, and that is not an easy thing to do.
“They wake up every day not knowing what they are going to get into and don’t even know if they are going to make it back home. That is a big deal,” said Norman.
For students who are interested in working in law enforcement, French’s advice to them is to make wise choices.
“Every decision you make, that could either hinder or help your chances of getting accepted into the academy,” said French. “Know where you are going now and cater every goal you have to that.”