School Bulletin: Officers embrace South Milwaukee district
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- South Milwaukee's newest school resource officers are wasting no time getting to know the students, staff and parents.
"I really wanted to come into the schools just to be involved in the community in a different capacity," Officer Jakob Horsley says.
Horsley and Officer Adam Harnen say safety is the top priority. Their job is stay vigilant and aware, and building trust and relationships is a big part of that. Both are looking to for ways to connect with the kids, and for Harnen, that's partly through music. He sang the national anthem at one of this season's football games.
"I wanted to make sure I did that because it humanizes us more," Harnen says. "It shows that at one point, we're not police officers, and we have human qualities, we have human interests."
As for Horsley, he's using the Spanish he learned as a student at South Milwaukee High School. He says it helped him connect with a Spanish-speaking kindergartner at the beginning of the year.
"He was kind of intimidated just overall. He doesn't know what people are saying," Horsley says. "Just to help him be more comfortable around me, I had to switch to Spanish for a little while. Once I started, he didn't leave my side for 30 minutes."
Horsley was sworn-in to the South Milwaukee Police Department in January, but Harnen had a few more years on the force before applying for the school resource officer position. He says the reality of police work means meeting people for negative reasons. But working in the schools, allows the officers to interact with the community and be seen in a different light.
"I can actually make a difference. I can actually have an impact on kids' lives," Harnen says. "We can… be a role model for the kids who need it. And for the kids who do have it, just kind of reinforce that they're doing the right thing."