Hamlet Town Marshall Frank Lonigro and Patrolman Kyle Hines will soon be taking on extra responsibilities when they aren’t on the town’s payroll. Starting in January they will be school resource officers at Oregon-Davis Elementary. Interim Superintendent Greg Briles says some of the funds from the $30,000 Secured School Safety Grant the corporation received pay their salaries.
“The days that they’re not working with the Town of Hamlet, they will come into the elem schol and be resource officers over there, to where they can set up a rapport with those elementary kids, that we’re hoping will build up into the junior-senior high school. They can give them the good side of a police officer, because a lot of times the only thing they see is the bad,” said Briles.
Lonigro says he’s looking forward to working with the youngsters in the school setting.
“We deal with them out in the community, and a lot of times it’s not such a good rapport. We’re coming into domestic situations where we may have to arrest Mom or Dad. At that time we always try to talk to the kids, but a lot of times we’re dealing with that other stuff. It just sets a negative impact on the police. If we can be in the schools and get to know the kids and become friends with them, let them know how good the police really are, I think it will really save when they get to the high school,” Lonigro said.
Briles says school officials are getting things in order for the two officers to start work at O-D when students return from Christmas break.
“We’re going to be meeting with the Hamlet Town Council to make sure they’re aware of everything we’re doing. That’s another relationship we want to establish between the school and the town. We’re not trying to steal their officers from them. We’re just trying to get it where they have that relationship with the students, with the parents,” Briles said.
Oregon-Davis Junior-Senior High School has had a resource officer for quite some time, and Briles says that relationship has worked out well for the corporation. The rest of the Secured School Safety Grant money O-D received will be spent on technology upgrades.