The Jamestown Public Schools District welcomed a new Elementary and Middle School Resource Officer this year.
Jamestown Police Department Constable Alexis Carlson is the new Resource Officer. She is responsible for the eight schools and middle school students who attend the Raymond J. Fashano Technical Academy.
School Resource Officers are known for ensuring the safety of students, staff and visitors; however, Carlson said his job went beyond maintaining security.
“Besides the obvious job of keeping everyone safe and secure in and around the buildings, my job is really about building relationships with the kids and letting them know that I’m there as a resource and someone to they could ask about anything or hopefully I can help point them in the right direction,” she says.
Carlson was a police officer for over seven years, with over five years of service with the Jamestown Police Department. She has also served as a School Resource Officer in the Falconer School District in the past.
For the past five and a half years, Carlson has served as a drug recognition expert with the police department’s Highway Patrol. His experience with the Highway Patrol Unit has allowed him to use proactive measures to maintain safety and security, which will translate well to his new role in the Jamestown Police Department’s partnership with public schools. of Jamestown.
Carlson’s decision to become a school resource officer stems from her desire to help people as a police officer.
“The reason I got into law enforcement early on was to help people,” she says. “I know that sometimes sounds a bit cliché because I think a lot of people say that. But honestly, that’s the main reason most of us get into it.
While Carlson said the Jamestown Police Department has maintained a positive response from the community, she acknowledged the growing difficulty for law enforcement to deal with public scrutiny over the past two years. .
Carlson is committed to providing elementary and middle school students with a positive example of law enforcement.
“I just want to try to show the kids the best side the police can be, because some of these kids, unfortunately, will see the bad aspects of our duty to arrest someone in their household, or sometimes the kids think that the police only arrest people. and this can be viewed negatively,” she says. “I want to be able to show them all the other things we can do and that it’s not just about arresting people, it’s just about having conversations with people.”
By making meaningful connections with Jamestown Public School students, Carlson hopes to help children understand that the police are there to help them. She also wants them to feel comfortable approaching police officers across the city if they need help.
While keeping Jamestown Public Schools safe is his top priority, Carlson views building healthy relationships with students as equally important.
“Building these relationships is extremely important to me,” she says. “That’s all I’ve done for the past two weeks.”
According to Carlson, one of the biggest challenges she faces in her role as a resource officer is communication. She admits that it is often difficult to answer the tough questions students ask her at school and to remain transparent while avoiding overwhelming students with the difficult experiences she has been involved in as a police officer.
“I just try to be transparent with the children” she says. “I want to be able to communicate to them as clearly as possible, but also to protect them as well, and then for them to have a better understanding of what the police are doing.”
Having been removed from the school setting for many years, Carlson said going back to the classrooms and touring the various elementary and middle schools has been a great experience. She enjoys learning about the different perspectives of students and staff, while encouraging students to become “stronger individuals”.
Carlson said she was grateful that the school district and the police department were able to work together to create her resource officer position. Based on recent feedback from students, staff and parents, she thinks the community is both excited and grateful for her position within the school.
“I’m really happy that both the public school and our department are excited about this position,” she says. “I wish there were more school resource officers because it’s fun work. It’s fun to be back with the kids and I think the kids need more. I think it’s going in a very good direction, and I hope it continues.
Dr. Kevin Whitaker, superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, said the school district is thrilled to have her join the school as the new resource officer.
“We are very pleased to welcome Alexis Carlson as our new SRO who will focus her efforts on early intervention and support for our elementary students,” he said. “His role will be to introduce safety concepts to our younger students, as well as being involved in anti-drug education and being a good listening partner for our students who may be going through confusing times. outside of school. She recently completed the National SRO Certification Courses and has a plethora of teaching resources and skills that she looks forward to using with our children and staff.