School resource officer says at times he's part counselor, part educator

Published: Aug. 19, 2016 at 10:39 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2016 at 12:16 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Students are heading back to school, but did the summer of police shootings make the jobs of school resource officers more difficult?

Mike Shaw has worked as a school resource officer at Chardon High School for four years. Shaw and other resource officers around the country work in schools as method to prevent issues and stop problems before they happen.

He patrols the hallways as part of his job, but he says that's just the beginning of his duties.

"A true SRO is multifaceted. They're law enforcement, they're a social worker, they're a counselor, they're a friend, they're an educator," he said.

On any day the job requires a lot of responsibilities, the priority being security, but after a summer of shootings involving the police, Shaw says he's using the events as a way to inform students about the roles of police officers.

"When they go out there, they know that you can't paint police with this broad brush," said Shaw.

Following a deadly shooting at Chardon High in 2012 where a student killed three of his classmates, Shaw's presence is comforting to many. Now in light of several police involved shootings in the country, Shaw's position adds context. Shaw says that when students do have questions about recent events, or other curiosities about law enforcement, they can use him as a resource.

"They know a police officer, they realize we're people, we have a personality, we're individuals, we all wear the same thing, but we're people underneath," said Shaw.

Shaw believes it's a relationship will make a lasting impact.

"There's a big benefit to the community having a school resource officer," said Shaw.

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