By Eduardo Negron, Director of School Safety and Security, Milwaukee, WI, Public Schools. Former Police Captain in charge of Milwaukee’s School Resource Officer Program.
Every school is its own community, much like the neighborhood or police district/precinct one resides in. Positive and negative things happen all the time, but communities have the power to influence their occurrence. If a community ignores the negatives, they can fester into something terrible. However, if they are addressed systematically, applying best practices, negative situations can be turned around.
No one, or no single group of people, can do it alone. Whether it is a school community or a neighborhood, everyone present needs to exert their influence, step up, and step into problem-solving relationships. In a neighborhood, it takes residents, business owners, police, schools, and others to make a sound place to live and enjoy life. In a school, it takes teachers, principals/administrators, students, parents, counselors, food staff, etc. and police to reach a point of trust with positive relationships. Partnering and collaborating means building relationships that open up communications on all levels to address common concerns.