RACINE -- Thursday marks the first day of class in the Racine Unified School District.
Superintendent Dr. Lolli Haws said the district is breaking in three new facilities this school year.
It’s also implementing a new, community-oriented policing model in its schools. The model fuses the Racine Police Department's approach to community-based policing with the typical, school resource officer approach.
Haws said school resource officers, assigned to specific facilities, will receive training from Racine police and the school district about relating to students and understanding the teenage mind.
“We want to make sure our police officers have relationships with students and that they’re dedicated to certain schools,” Haws said.
Other aspects of the training will focus on conflict de-escalation and building trust.
Haws said the district wants school resource officers to be seen as “part of the support group that helps all of our students succeed.”
Deputy Chief Al Days, of the Racine Police Department, said the model is all about building relationships, partnerships and trust.
He said it should give resource officers a better handle on dealing not only with the law enforcement aspects of working in schools but also issues like mental health and truancy.