Citizens and Partnerships

The Hillsboro School District and the Hillsboro Police Department have developed a strong partnership in recent years. The HPD does important work in counseling and crime prevention through the School Resource Officer program, and works diligently to prevent truancy and keep kids in school.

A couple of days ago, Tom Brandt wrote a Letter to the [Blog] Editor that I think belongs here on the front page. It’s about participation and partnership, and the opportunity we all have to get involved in making our community a better place to live, work, and raise families. Thanks for sharing this, Tom. — Hugh

Tom Brandt Says:

Recently I completed 10 weeks of the Hillsboro Police Department Citizen’s Academy. The course taught by officers and staff of the police department was incredibly enlightening. Sessions covered all aspects of the operation of the police department.

You may ask, what does this have to do with education in Hillsboro? This has much to do with education in our community, both directly and indirectly. The department has, I believe, seven School Resource Officers who work full time within the various schools. In addition to traditional policing, they teach the D.A.R.E and G.R.E.A.T. programs (Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Gang Resistance Education and Training). These are important programs taught in conjunction with the schools and Boys & Girls Clubs.

The gang culture is creeping into our schools and these officers are the front line to take action to recognize and hopefully eliminate this danger from our schools. They deal with truancy and often visit the homes of truant students. The ETS report covered in Hugh’s December 13, 2007 posting addresses the problem of truancy and absenteeism.

The police deal with domestic violence often involving children directly and indirectly.

This program is a valuable source of information on how our police deal with public safety issues. How can a child have a positive attitude toward school and learning when he or she has to live in a home troubled with drugs, alcohol, violence, gang activity, etc?

I came away from this program with a very positive attitude about the police force and their mission of community policing. We should fully support them and aid them when we can. And I urge each of you reading this to consider investing about 35 hours in attending this Citizen’s Academy. Among other things, you will learn about some of the issues affecting our children both in and out of the schools.

Tom Brandt

Cross-posted from Straight Talk 12-15-07