UPDATE: The Van Buren Police Department issued a news release Tuesday welcoming six new school resource officers.
The new SROs started work on Tuesday.
“It is the first time in the district’s history to have a full-time SRO on every campus,” the news release states.
Here is a list of every Van Buren school resource officer and the school they are assigned to:
Deputy Robin Kuykendall – Tate Elementary
Cpl. Heather Hoffsommer – Izard Center for Learning
Cpl. David Passen – City Heights Elementary
Cpl. Chase DeCroo – King Elementary
Cpl. George Edelen – Butterfield Trail Middle School
Cpl. Dewayne Richesin – Northridge Middle School
Cpl. Chris Ho – Van Buren High School
Cpl. Nick Harvey – Central Elementary
Cpl. Stephen Lawrence – Freshman Academy
Ofc. Megan Slayton – Rena Elementary
Ofc. Erin Faulkenberry- Parkview Elementary
VAN BUREN, Ark. (KFTA) — The Van Buren School District has amped up security to better protect students and staff.
Six new school resource officers walked the halls of their respective schools for the first time today.
Now, every school in the district has a full-time officer on-hand to protect everyone inside.
“Today’s a big day for our district,” said Brittany Ransom, Communications Coordinator of the Van Buren School District.
Megan Slayton, one of the new school resource officers said, “getting to see all the parent’s faces and [them] waving at me, I mean you could just see that they were happy that I was out there helping their kids get in safely.”
Officer Megan Slayton has been working for the Van Buren Police Department for three and a half years, but now she’s following a new passion.
“I love children. Been around children my whole life. So, being able to incorporate my career, which is something I love, with children, is the best thing ever,” said Officer Slayton.
With a gun on her hip, she’s sworn to protect the children at Rena Elementary School.
But to her and the administrators, it’s more than that.
She said, “The most important aspect of being an SRO is just being able to bridge that gap between how children may perceive law enforcement. We’re not scary, we’re not out there to take them away. We’re are out there to help them be safe.”
“It also is an asset to our staff, our counselors, our administration on each campus. It’s someone else they can lean on if they need to address an issue,” Ransom said. “It’s another exciting familiar face for them as they high five them as they come down the hallway.”
For one teacher, it’s a face that helps her get through her day.
First Grade Teacher Tara Ree said, “just having that extra layer of safety really just keeps us relaxed throughout the day.”
“This is just going to be a great asset to our district, to our kids, our staff, and of course the community at large,” said Ransom.