New SRO position granted to further safety

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New SRO position granted to further safety

Officer Luke Grant with student Jasmine Gutierrez during passing period.

Officer Luke Grant with student Jasmine Gutierrez during passing period.

Alek Marcussen

Officer Luke Grant with student Jasmine Gutierrez during passing period.

Alek Marcussen

Alek Marcussen

Officer Luke Grant with student Jasmine Gutierrez during passing period.

Alek Marcussen

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     A second on-Campus School Resource Officer, Luke Grant, was added to the security team in order to help keep the school safer.

     Luke Grant has been an officer for 36 years, starting in 1983, serving Plano in a variety of positions and starting this year, as a School Resource Officer (SRO).  Officer Grant majored in criminal justice, and was referred by his teacher to the Dallas Police Department. Instead of joining Dallas P. D. however, Officer Grant joined the Plano P. D. where he has served to this day.

      “Dr. Bob Grant referred me to the Dallas Police Department, I noticed Plano Police were giving a test and they hired me first,” said Grant.

     Throughout his career, Grant, took on various roles within the police department such as detective work, patrolling and even undercover work. He decided to apply for the position of SRO this year because it was the only job he had never done. 

    for Grant, the position of SRO is completely new to him, and Smith has helped him acclimate to his new position. Working here, Grant has been working alongside Smith, the resident SRO for the past five years who said that working with Grant has taught him many things.

     “Working with a more experienced police officer has really been a learning experience,” said Officer Buddy.

     In past years, senior highs have only ever had one on-campus officer. This is not ideal because of the fact that a single Officer faces a ratio of 3,000-to-one.

     “Due to the shooting in El Paso, I believed it would be best to have a second SRO on campus,” said Smith. 

     Now there are two officers for seven buildings and 3,000 students, giving the entire security team more coverage and better security for the students. Having two SRO’s also makes them more available to students for any help that might be needed from them.

     While having a second officer at senior high campus’ is a new policy, the school and community have taken to it very well. Officer Grant felt very welcomed and has only been met with great kids and positive interactions.

     “I like to think that having Officer Grant eases the minds of parents, knowing their kids are safe,” said Smith.  

     As an SRO, Grant’s job is to help the students. Thus being an approachable, easy-to-talk-to person is important, which are qualities that Grant possesses.

     “Officer Grant was easy to talk to, so when I’d see him in the halls we would just talk” said Jonathan Niece, a Senior at PSHS “I’ve never seen any other SRO as much as Officer Grant. He’s really making a big effort to help out.” 

     Furthermore, Grant is a good resource and can be counted on. While it is sad that another cop is even needed, Niece mentioned that he feels that PISD are taking steps in the right direction by having a second SRO and locking the doors.

     “Now it’s sad how unsafe a school can be, but I think that’s definitely taking strides in having a safer place to have an education” said Niece.

      Many students have expressed dislike for the enforcement of ID’s, something both officers touched on, Smith  stated how it really is helpful not only to keep the school safe but to allow for greater connection between students and staff. Officer Buddy said that while he remembers a decent amount of faces, remembering the names of students when there are 3,000 plus attending, is next to impossible. ID’s, he said, help him use names in conversation which avoids awkward moments of trying and failing to remember names.

     “Working with the students all the time allows me to know faces, but there are so many students that remembering names is impossible, so the IDs allow me to have a more personal connection with the students by using their names,” said Smith

    As an SRO Officer Grant’s first and foremost priority is the safety of the school and the people in it, but he hopes to build lasting relationships with staff and students, in the coming year. Officer Buddy mentioned having similar goals, the only difference being that Officer Buddy wants to continue building his relationships with students and administrations. Going into the coming year, the security team will be one member stronger, able to better protect and serve the school, and grow closer with the community at whole.

     “Me and Officer Buddy’s goal is to keep everyone here safe,” said Grant.

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