Back to school isn't just for students, teachers, and principals.
The Langley RCMP's three school resource officers are also heading back this week.
All three officers work with the six-officer youth unit, and they spend their summers interacting with teenagers across the community, explained Cpl. David Koga. Now he and his fellow officers will be moving from school to school again.
For the school resource officers, the school year starts by meeting new principals and vice principals, and stopping by at each of the 58 schools in the community, including
the new Richard Bulpitt Elementary.
Just checking in at each school usually takes about two weeks.
Their usual round of work during the school year can be highly varied, said Koga.
They may be called in on a case-by-case basis by school administrators.
Talking to students is a big part of their job.
They would rather cut off problems before they start than have to make an arrest later.
"Preventative measures certainly go a lot further than anything reactive," Koga said.
On the prevention side, talks to students are a big part, and include speaking about drugs and alcohol, and safe driving for highschoolers getting their licences.
"We've been getting a lot of social media calls," said Koga, and the team has been talking about using Facebook and Twitter safely.
There may be criminal matters, including drugs or weapons, and anything youth-related will likely see the school resource officers or their counterparts in the youth-at-risk group called in.
They'll also work with ICBC and their fellow officers to keep the areas around schools safe for kids walking and cycling, setting up either overt or covert traffic enforcement.
Outside of school hours, the officers will meet with teenagers in parks or around bus stops, anywhere young people might gather. They try to get to know the teens who hang out around various parts of Langley, including some of Surrey.
Koga has been with the unit for a year and a half and enjoys the work.
"I have five children myself, ages seven to 14," he said.
He gets a sense of accomplishment when a situation works out well, he said.
@ Copyright 2013