Home Mullica Hill News CRMS’ addition of an SRO helps boost school safety

CRMS’ addition of an SRO helps boost school safety

SRO Ryan Golden hopes his presence at the middle school deters crime, and allows for students to build trust with the police


The Sun

Nearly a year into his position, school resource officer for Clearview Middle School Ryan Golden says he works every day to build relationships and trust with students.

Golden, who worked on patrol at the Harrison Township Police Department from 2013 until 2018, said being an SRO at the middle has been a different experience for him.

“I occasionally run into kids outside of school and they say ‘hi’ and stuff like that, and you’re not going to be able to do that on patrol,” he said. “You won’t have that interaction where you’ll see them as often as you do here.”

In his first month at the middle school, Golden said he had to not only get used to the different shift he worked, but to also get students to warm up to him and the idea a police officer is in the building the entire time it’s open, which he was able to do by popping in gym classes and playing sports with the students.

“I enjoy the gym class because I’m not interrupting them,” he said. “They’re playing different sports each day, like dodgeball. That lets the kids know that I’m human and not just a police officer.”

In terms of school safety, Golden said it helps the kids feel comfortable having a police officer, in Clearview and Harrison school districts, in every level of schooling from kindergarten to senior year.

“It’s a deterrent with my police car being out front,” he said. “With all of the parents that come by each day, I’m sure it makes them feel that their kids are in a safer place.”

“There’s been a strong presence with having him available for safety, and there were incidents we, the principals, would have to deal with at the middle school. And he’s a liaison between us and the Harrison Police,” said Assistant Principal Kate Bourquin.

Golden added he is also present to uphold the district’s safety standards and to make sure no one is in any harm, such as enforcing all doors are completely shut during random safety patrols, and keeping an eye on the various drills to see if any adjustments need to be made on how the staff and students respond.

For middle schoolers, Golden said he recognizes this age, 12 to 14 years old, can be a difficult time for kids because “they’re trying to figure things out and understand things differently” than in elementary school, which has made him change his approach in talking about various subjects with them.

“You have to paint the picture for the kids here, which is different because, for most adults, they understand most of the stuff,” said Golden. “You’re kind of explaining it to the kids here. You have to figure out new ways to teach or train them, so to speak.”

Golden hopes in his time at the middle school he can help keep the staff and students safe, but also have the students know they can rely on a police officer, if they need to contact one.

“With the Harrison Township districts having an SRO at every level, by the time students get to high school, they’re used to interacting with the school cop and not just when they get to high school,” he added.

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