The Airdrie RCMP have added a second full-time School Resource Officer to their ranks for this school year.

Cst. Morley Statchuk will enter his third year working with Airdrie students, while Cst. Dustin Mengerink will take on the position for the first time.

Cst. Dan Martin explained that School Resource Officers are in place at Airdrie schools to assist with school safety and to provide a visible, positive image of law enforcement by building good relationships with students. They are also in the schools to offer advice and guidance.

"We want them to be very approachable for the students and staff. Typically police officers are not always seen in a positive light, and we want these officers to be seen as the warm, fuzzy guys that are there to help the kids and be their friend and mentor."

Cst. Statchuk will primarily work with the high schools, and he sees benefits to having two full-time officers working with students.

"The main benefit will be for the schools, that they know there's two officers that they can have full time and that one would be dedicated to the middle and elementary schools and of course myself to the high schools. That give them more ability to utilize our services and incorporate us into their school learning processes."

Cst. Mengerink is a recent transfer to Airdrie from B.C., and this will be his first time working in a school. Mengerink said he's both nervous and excited about taking on the position.

"It's pretty exciting actually. It's different to walk into a room full of people where every single one of them is excited to hear what you have to say and mostly positive towards you."

Mengerink will spend a few months learning the ropes from Statchuk before taking on primary responsibility in Airdrie's elementary and middle schools.

 

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