In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, security at schools has been a hot topic.
In fact, security has been beefed up at many districts nationwide, including here in Texoma.
“I do like kids. I already know a lot of them. I feel like I can help them out,” said Officer Trevis Session of the Vernon Police Department.
Officer Session is the new School Resource Officer for the Vernon Independent School District.
Before this, Session was a patrol officer. He says he’s excited now, but one thought came to his mind when he learned of his new assignment.
“If I’m being honest, I was thinking: ‘What getting myself into?,'” Session said chuckling.
Kidding aside, the ISD’s assistant superintendent says they are glad to have him.
“I know he has a lot of experience here in Vernon,” Hope Appel, ED.D., Vernon ISD Assistant Superintendent said. “And having some of those connections to our students and families will be a benefit.”
Session is not the first resource officer the school district’s had. Appel explained it had been about four years since they’ve had an officer. She also made it clear that Session’s hiring was in the works a great while before recent tragic events. “We had some things we had to wait for: a new city manager, a new chief of police, so all of those entities could work together in order to bring the best amount of safety that we could to our students and staff.”
One of the men responsible for putting Session in place is a former school resource officer himself, in the person of Lieutenant Wayne Hodges, also with Vernon Police.
He admitted that though Session may not make as many arrests or reports as he would on a regular beat, he views the role just as important.
“The job of the school resource officer is not just to have police in schools. You’re kind of a mentor, sometimes a counselor; you’re interacting with kids of all ages,” stated Hodges.
However, Kyli Leal, one of Vernon High School’s teachers, believes it’s hard to see an officer and not feel safer.
“I definitely like the feeling of having an School Resource Officer. It does make me feel a little more secure,” Leal explained.
Officer Session doesn’t know how long he plans to be in this position; but there is one thing to which he’s looking forward.
“Building the rapport with kids and letting them know they can talk with us whenever they want to.”