School resource officers teach trust in Berkeley Co.

By Ava Wilhite

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- Berkeley County schools are working to create trust between students and school resource officers by making the officers a part of their teaching teams.

Ellen Mayer is one of those officers and she said while checking to make sure the doors are locked at Cane Bay High School is part of her job, it is only a small part.

She said talking to students is 90 percent of the job.

"If they feel safe with you, they will come tell you what's going on and they want you to try and help fix it," she said.

Mayer said resource officers are making the difference when it comes to protecting students and schools; like the resource officer in Arapahoe, Colorado who was able to end a school shooting in 80 seconds.

Dawn Sendziak, a parent, said having a resource officer inside Cane Bay High School gives her peace of mind.

"We can't take it for granted anymore. You know, it can happen anywhere at any time and school districts have to be prepared for that," she said.

Dr. Lee Westberry, the high school's principal said the goal as a school district is to be proactive, not reactive.

"The real tragedy would be is if you needed a plan and didn't have one," he said. "So we're going to make sure that we practice our drills and make sure that we know what to do in case of a crisis," she said.{}

Large-scale active shooter drills take place twice a year in Berkeley County to make sure students and staff know what to do.

"We keep the safety of our children and our students a number one priority," said Tim Knight, safety and security officer for the Berkeley County School District.

The school district has school resource officers in all of their middle and high schools.


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