PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - School Resource Deputies have a major job - keeping schools and everyone in those schools safe. To do that job, they have to build trust with the students.
Student Resource Deputies interact with students on a daily basis and build relationships with them. (WJHG/WECP)
"Consistency is very important, and that's one reason we keep the same SRDs at the same schools, sometimes for years, because they build those relationships with those young people and that's very important," said Steve Harbuck, Captain of the Community Services Division for the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
Having SRDs in schools allows teens to have healthy interactions with law enforcement, showing them most deputies have their best interests at heart.
"Aside from the authority figure, I guess I'm more like a mentor, counselor, doctor, you name it, I do it all," said Brooks Adkison, the School Resource Deputy for Mosley High School.
With 18 SRDs across all middle and high schools in the division, they're able to stay in tune with what's going on at each school.
"They keep their ear to the ground, so to speak, and so whatever the talk, the buzz, that's going on in the school, and anything about a threat or anything like that, they're hearing it," said Harbuck.
Since Hurricane Michael, the job at hand has become more critical than ever as they keep a close eye on the students they've come to know and love.
"They understand when they see a kid that they see everyday that's not acting the same or looking different, they pick up on that, they cue in on it," said Harbuck.
SRDs say they feel privileged to be the role model some kids may not have at home.
"Having somebody there to tell them it's going to be okay, it means the world to some of them."
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