New school resource officer works to forge connections

November 1, 2017 — by Aaron Choi and Stephen Ding

With so much their minds every day, students may seldom think about their safety on campus.

And in a city that has been ranked as one of the safest in California, there may be a dangerously false stigma that “Run, Hide, Defend” drills aren’t important.

That is a perception that the school’s new school resource officer, Deputy Russell Davis, is working to combat.

Starting earlier this year, Davis replaced Deputy Chad Garton in the position.

Davis applied for the position and was thrilled to get the job. “He has an extensive background working with youth,” principal Paul Robinson said. “Being a resource officer gives him an opportunity to work with [youth] in a different way, and you can see he really enjoys working with young men and women.”

Contrary to the stigma around officers in uniform, administrators say Davis isn’t someone to fear.

“He isn't just here to write tickets and bust people,” assistant principal Brian Thompson said. “Of course, if there’s an event that happens that requires some type of law enforcement he’s going to be here and his familiarity of the campus will help him to keep everyone safe.”

Beyond school security, Davis has many responsibilities beyond law enforcement. As implied in the name of the position, the school resource officer serves as a resource for companionship, mentor and  a role model for students.

Despite his frequent visits to Saratoga High, Davis is also assigned to other schools in the area, including Lynbrook and Prospect High, Sacred Heart, Redwood Middle and Saratoga, Argonaut and Foothill Elementary.

Because of sheriff’s department rules, Davis isn’t allowed to be quoted on the record in the press, but has been starting to forge relationships with faculty and staff on this campus.

“Even though he visits so many campuses, Davis tells me that he would much rather be on our campus than anybody else's,” Robinson said. “He says it’s because we have the most interesting students. I'm really excited about Deputy Davis because he has a significant amount of experience and training that is essential to working at school.”

 

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