We feel safe as officers working to make NY students


The journalist group Education Week has reported, there have been 27 school shootings so far this year, including the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas last month.

A Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy serving as a school resource officer spoke about his position and how his department prepares to make students and parents feel safe.

Deputy Derrick Goettel says his favorite part about being a school resource officer is the connections with students.

“To know the kids as I built those relationships, you could just see them realizing a deputy is here and that’s a good thing,” Goettel said. “I’m not there to arrest kids or turn little situations into big ones.”

He’s been with the Churchville-Chili Central School District since 2020 after a survey to parents led to the creation of the role.

“I just kind of fill in the gaps,” he said. “I get called by counselors a lot, ‘hey what do you think of this situation? Is this a law enforcement situation?’ I get called by administrators, I get called by parents in the district when their kids have something happen and they’re wondering, ‘is this a police thing? Can you help out?’”

He says he had special training for the position and still undergoes regular training as well.

“I know my department is pretty forward-thinking and every deputy went through solo-man active shooter training,” he said. “I went through active shooter training when I was in the academy, and that’s something I’ve reached out to our sergeants about getting more of that training.”

He says there’s a lot of unrest amongst students and parents after the school shooting in Uvalde. But he says he wants to serve as a reassuring hand.

“The times we live in, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “So just knowing we’re prepared — it’s something we think about, something we’re planned for — hopefully that helps put people’s minds at ease.”

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