The Riverside Police Department today has a new tool to help improve school climates, ensure safety, and support student interactions with police.
"As police officers, we are all bound by a sacred trust to protect the well-being and safety of the children and staff at Riverside schools. School safety walk through’s and interaction with students can be a valuable tool in creating a positive school environment and keeping kids safe,” said Police Chief Weitzel.
Officer Michael Panek stated, "By fostering relationships of trust and respect between students and the police, we can continue to build safer schools where our young people can learn and thrive—a vital effort that the Riverside Police Department will continue to advance with our partners at D96, St. Mary’s and D208.”
Riverside Police will have officers visiting schools, attending lunch periods with students and just making themselves known to students and staff.
The police department has worked out a schedule with individual schools that will not impact any learning time for students.
Officer Michael Panek will oversee the program for the police department. It was his initiative to begin this new partnership with the Riverside schools.
The program stated Friday, January 24th, 2020 at D96 schools.
Photo, Officer Dan Marrello at Central School lunch on Friday, January 24, 2020