One of the targets of the planned Topeka West school attack was a School Resource Officer.
We spoke with school law enforcement about what kind of relationship those Resource Officer’s have with students and how they try to keep Topeka West high school safe.
Director of School Safety, Dan Brown says, “We receive leads from a number of different sources, from students, from staff, from individuals in the public who may have heard something in regard to a concern about the school.”
Concerns like finding drugs, weapons or even plotting to a school shooting.
Shawnee County District Attorney says Topeka West student, Brendan Moore planned to target two school school administrators and two law enforcement officers, one of those being a school resource officer.
When it comes to security, Brown says, “Officers try to get to know students.”
He continues, “Relationships are probably the most important tool that you have in a school setting because relationships with the students and the staff are those things that will help us. We dove more and more into social media, we have Facebook accounts, we try to friend students and we look at those accounts on a regular basis.”
And they try to look out for “warning signs.”
But when it comes to threats of students and staff, even officers fear for their lives.
Brown says, “Its not only at the schools, I mean these officers can also respond to assist the Topeka Police Department or Shawnee County Sheriff, in different locations and so there’s an inherent danger to being a police officer, but the officers understand that we don’t dwell on that.”
Day in and day out…their lives are on the line.
It’s all so the students can go to school without having to worry about anything else, but their studies.