In the last few weeks, Police Chief Ross Dubois has been working collaboratively with the Madawaska School Department to be proactive and discuss different strategies to help prevent violence within local schools.
It was agreed upon to reallocate duties within the Police Department to allow Lieutenant Jamie Pelletier the opportunity to assume duties of a Criminal Investigator/School Resource Officer. A School Resource Officer is presented with opportunities daily to help a child out of a bad situation or to help a child turn their lives around and to work with their families and school community to provide support. By reassigning law enforcement duties, the Police Department will be able to increase student safety and school security at no additional cost to our tax base.
Lt. Pelletier says he is very excited to be a part of the School’s first School Resource Officer program. “My goal is to ensure safe learning environments in our schools and fostering positive relationships with youth,” said Pelletier.
The National Association of School Resource Officers considers it a best practice to use a “triad concept” to define the three main roles of school resource officers: educator (i.e. guest lecturer), informal counselor/mentor, and law enforcement officer.
“It has become a reality with the recent and former school shootings that we need to be proactive for the safety of our children," said Police Chief DuBois. "We’ve heard many people state they never thought these tragedies could happen in their communities.”
Gisele Dionne, Superintendent of Schools in Madawaska says “The Madawaska Police Department has always worked well with our schools. This new collaboration is a win-win situation. We get to have more security and a Police Officer is present amongst our students. We are very grateful to have a school resource officer in our buildings and we would like to thank the Town of Madawaska for making this possible.”