School resource officers keeping schools like Millard North safe

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- Schools around the country struggle with how to incorporate more safety measures into their student’s lives. The administration at Millar North High School says it’s a journey they’ve been on for over a decade.

Officer John Martinez has been a positive police presence for 14 years at Millard North.

“There are tragedies that have happened over the last several years that we know about and I kind of use that to sharpen my skills if you will, so I can do my best I can do in working with the school to do everything we can do to keep everyone safe,” said Martinez.

Millard North’s principal Brian Begley says they rely on SROs to help with code enforcement and to respond to reports of anything dangerous.

Martinez likes that part of the job, but he says serving the police force as an SRO lets him do something more meaningful.

“It’s a critical time for them where they are making that leap from youth, if you will, to adulthood,” said Martinez.

After safety, he’s focused on normalizing interaction with law enforcement. He teaches kids how to navigate speeding tickets and resolve conflicts at home.

“It’s rewarding here at school when you make a difference in their lives,” said Martinez.

Martinez says he’s able to focus on the relationships thanks to the help of modern technology like better cameras and self-locking doors. Millard North also uses a software called Gaggle that lets them detect words or phrases students are typing that could be threatening.

Martinez and Begley agree, it takes a village to raise kids, and the role of an officer in school is helping Millard North do just that.