North Polk has entered an agreement with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to assign a School Resource Officer (SRO) to the district. A SRO is a multi-faceted position requiring the officer to be an educator, counselor and a law enforcement professional addressing criminal behavior.
After serving nearly 10 years as an elementary teacher early in her career, Deputy Angela Wong is all too familiar with the school setting. As a law enforcement officer, she is excited to see the two worlds collide and feels her experience as a teacher will help her to successfully transition into the role of SRO. “As a previous educator turned law enforcement officer, I understand both perspectives,” said Deputy Wong. “I’m excited for the opportunity to become part of the school and community.”
A SRO acts as a liaison between a school district and law enforcement. While Deputy Wong is an active member of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, she will spend her days on site assisting the students, staff and families of North Polk CSD. Deputy Wong will also collaborate with the Polk City Police Department to monitor any issues that involve students who live in Polk City.
According to Trace Kendig, Polk City’s chief of police, the benefits of an SRO are many. “The SRO position in a school is invaluable to foster positive relationships between students and law enforcement,” said Kendig. “All too often, police officers only get to see people at the worst times of their lives. The SRO role gives students and staff an opportunity to interact with law enforcement daily in a positive way.”
While there are undeniably many benefits associated with the SRO role, it all circles back to providing a safe and productive learning environment for students. “A positive learning environment is key to each student’s academic, emotional and social success,” said Deputy Wong. “A student must feel safe in order to learn and secure in order to want to participate.” Deputy Wong went on to say, “The positive environment will extend beyond the classroom — into the hallways, cafeteria and activities.”
Deputy Wong invites students and their families to contact her if she can be of assistance. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the high school office. Please welcome Deputy Wong to the North Polk community!