Students in Van Buren may see an extra person on their route to and from school.
“It’s a three prong approach,” Van Buren School Resource Officer Frank Petray said. “Counselor, Mentor, and Law Enforcement Officer.”
Van Buren School Resource Officer Dewayne Richesin and his team are taking their duties outside of school walls.
“We are enforcing the laws that a lot of people don’t pay much attention to usually,” Van Buren School Resource Officer Dewayne Richesin said.
The Van Buren Police Department is partnering with Van Buren Schools to make sure students are safe from the moment they get on the bus to the moment they get off.
“Other cars don’t know to stop sometimes and that could be a huge problem when it comes to kids because they dart out in front of cars,” Sgt. Petray said.
Disobeying these school bus laws could lead to a hefty price.
“That could be two hundred and up to one thousand dollars for that offense, so it is something that even if you are giving them a warning you are having that conversation for future refence,” Sgt. Richesin said.
Police officers are also riding with the kids to look for misconduct.
“The children don’t really know why we are on the bus so it is a good deterrent for any violence that could be taken on the bus as well,” Sgt. Petray said. “The benefits are multifaceted.”
But the Van Buren Police Department says they will keep their eyes on both the road and in the classroom.
“My number one priority is to keep people safe while at school,” Sgt. Petray said. “That goes for other children, parents teachers, whoever is there. It’s all about the children.”