The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Removed resource officers

New legislation impacts officer presence
Gabby Fadden
Juvenile response officer Stanikka Alacantara and Chris Nordstrom examine a computer Sept. 19. The school is implementing a new policy that limits the presence of resource officers in school.

At the start of Park’s school year, students became aware of a noticeable change. A new legislation has been put into place, so Park will no longer have a resource officer staying in the school building at all times. In previous years, Park has always had an officer stationed in the building to manage situations that staff members were not equipped to deal with.

Senior Daniel Zilka said he feels the same level of safety with or without a police officer.

“I don’t feel unsafe at all,” Zilka said. “I feel the same level of comfort that I had when there was a police officer in the school. But it is nice to have a police officer there just in case.”

However, the legislation does not mean that Park will never have a resource officer in the building. Principal LaNisha Paddock said officers will still be checking in multiple times a day at the school.  

“They check in multiple times a day,” Paddock said. “Still, the idea is that they would build community with our students because that’s what we want them here for — to have positive interactions and relationships with the police and police department. If we would need them for a particular situation, we would just call and they would come.” 

Junior Tanner Halley said resource officers are helpful and reliable. He said they give a sense of safety specifically in situations like fights. 

“There’s fights and it’s just helpful to have someone there to break stuff up and to be there to supervise the school and make sure nothings going bad,” Halley said.  

According to Paddock, not much has changed because of the legislation, but her hope is that the relationships between the officer and students are positive and consistent. 

“The relationship piece is the most important to me, and consistency. So like I said, it  hasn’t changed much besides they’re just not out officing out of our space, but they’ve been here,” Paddock said. “Their intent is to really spend as much time as they can here building relationships with the kiddos, so that if they see kids out in the community they can engage with them in a positive way.”

Zilka said that officers don’t do as much as they could when it comes to students’ behaviors.

“There were still fights last year and a teacher got hit,” Zilka said.“There was a police officer there, so I don’t think that the police officer really did any help in specific situations that they are used for.”

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About the Contributors
Roberto Alvarez, Echo Staffer
Hi, my name is Roberto Alvarez. I am 16 years old and I live in St. Louis Park, and I am in 10th grade. I have an older brother and have two dogs. I love hanging out with my friends and playing soccer. I want to capture immaculate pictures of sports teams and other activities and events at this high school and be a photographer.
Gabby Fadden, Echo Staffer
My name is Gabby and I am a sophomore. This is my first year on Echo. I like to play sports and a fun fact about me is that I have 3 dogs. 

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