Bismarck – There’s a small group of members of the Bismarck Police that can have a direct impact on your child’s life as a student.
Since 1975, The Bismarck Police Department’s Youth Bureau has been mentoring school students about the decisions they make whether right or wrong.
In 2001, They also created the School Resource Officer program. That program began with just two officers, but that number has grown to over a dozen.
A School Resource officer is typically assigned to a Bismarck Public School and are much more than just a cop walking the halls.
“The big thing they want to be doing up there is building relationships, with students, ummm, it’s probably 90-percent of their day, walking around the school, talking to students.” said Lieutenant Luke Gardiner, Director Bismarck Police Youth Bureau.
Members of the Police Youth Bureau hope to identify behavioral issues with children at a young age, and help those children change their ways so they don’t become a statistic in the court system.
A lot of times, our SRO’s they can see, they can read the body language they know what’s going on in their schools, they might seek those kids out, and it might be something as simple as walking up and saying hey, how’s things going, or looks like your having a bad day, what’s going on, you know, you want to step into the office and talk about it?” Said Luke McKay; Supervisor: Bismarck Police Youth Workers.
Members I talked with today tell me one of the main issues they face on a daily basis is students with Mental health troubles, because the resources to fully address those issues still are not available.
Other issues they deal with include runaways, shoplifting and possession.
In an effort to stop some of those issues, SRO’s and members of the Police Youth Bureau made nearly 300 presentations last year that reached over 15,000 children. Their number one goal— stopping bad behavior before it starts.