Budget Cuts Could Afftect School Safety

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Officer Robert McBride has been a resource officer at Eastern High School for 2 years. He believes youth interaction is key and practices what he preaches.

"It's good they learn police are not here to hurt them. We are here to help them. Once they become adults, it becomes easier for them to understand and trust the police department," said Lansing police officer Robert McBride, who works at Eastern High School as a resource officer.

When school gets out, his time doesn't end. Mcbride volunteered for the football team for more than two years, and has worked in high school sports for the last decade. He now assists the football, track, and basketball coaches at Eastern High School.

"I'm from inner city Detroit. There was a police officer at my school named, Ray Watson. He did these same things for me when I was a young person. I think it's only fair we try and give back those lessons. That's how we foster a good community," said McBride.

With city budget cuts and state revenue sharing cuts on the horizon, the Lansing police chief says resource officers, like McBride, could be eliminated.

"With these cuts, we are in danger of losing our school resource officers. They are engaged with your young people and that's priceless," said Chief Teresa Szymanski of the Lansing Police Department.

The chief says school resource officers help breakdown stereotypes of police officers among youth. Something McBride sees first hand.

"I've had kids come to me or text me to warn me of a potential fight or something could happen because they want to be safe at school. You build trust over time," said McBride.

McBride is applying to be the football head coach at Eastern High School. He says he will continue to be active at the school whether in uniform or not.

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