Officer Kenny Hucks with the Knoxville Police Department and I took a ride the other day as he travelled school to school in Knoxville, and he shared his thoughts with me on what he sees his job to be as the school district’s resource officer. Here are some points I took away from our interview.
Many schools nationwide are moving to a school resource officer, or a school liaison officer to try to address issues that arise in the school
Getting into the schools every day and building relationships with students helps them see law enforcement as an ally. Someone they can talk to.
There is a separation problem in society where the police department is often placed in an adversarial, us vs. them, role, when the police are actually there to help.
The idea is to build trust, so the kids can know they can talk with the police any time about any issue.
Hucks tries to teach values–politeness, basic “yes sir,” “yes ma’m” behavior that some kids have never been taught, but that reflects the basics of civil society.
Nine out of ten kids at school want to learn. The remaining kids sometimes have a problem with authority, and require a bit more work.
Kids are smart, and they want to know what the right thing to do is. If you spend lots of time with children, the better off they will be.
Criminal actions are going to happen, and if he does his job right, there will be fewer of them.
Enjoy the program.