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Police Officers will be More Visible in Parkway Elementary Schools

Thanks to enhanced partnerships with local police departments, there is a new model for substance abuse education and an enhanced role for police officers in Parkway elementary schools this year. 
Through the new Elementary Police Officer Program, important aspects of the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. program have been re-focused and expanded to serve the needs of all elementary students. The program is designed to improve the Parkway core health curriculum in grades K-5, increase visibility of uniformed officers in elementary schools and improve safety and security.
Police officers will be invited to serve as guest speakers in the classroom on lessons including the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs; and resisting pressure to use drugs; but also bullying; stranger and internet safety; and bike/pedestrian safety. Elementary police officers may also have lunch with students, attend open houses and curriculum nights, and provide educational programs for parents.
“We hope to have an increased presence and visibility of a uniformed officer in our elementary schools, similar to our school resource officers in middle and high school,” said Fred Crawford, chief of safety and security.
In addition, elementary police officers have been invited to serve as members of the school crisis/safety teams; to consult on crisis plans; participate in school safety drills; and provide support during an emergency.
“Safety and security continue to be priorities for our district. Having police officers provide their expertise to elementary schools in crisis planning will certainly benefit students in the event of a crisis,” said Crawford.
Each department will work with schools in their area to determine the appropriate role of police officers in their school community, based on police department resources available and the needs of the schools.
“While fifth graders will no longer participate in the D.A.R.E. program, we are excited that this new partnership will allow all elementary students grades K-5 to interact with uniformed police officers and gain from their expertise through a variety of classroom lessons throughout the school year,” said Bonnie Maxey, assistant superintendent of elementary and early childhood education.