November 01, 2016

Rapid City Police Department implements ‘Adopt-a-Police-Officer’ program

An officer visits a second grade classroom at Horace Mann Elementary An officer visits a second grade classroom at Horace Mann Elementary RCPD Photo

Beginning this week, elementary schools within the Rapid City Area School District will be participating in the RCPD’s ‘Adopt-a-Police-Officer’ program. 17 police officers have volunteered to be assigned to 15 elementary schools within the district. The program is designed to boost the amount of positive police interactions with students within these elementary schools.

“Our School Liaison Officers do a fantastic job operating within Rapid City’s public schools, and working to keep them a safe place for education,” says Sergeant Brian Blenner, commander of the RCPD’s school liaison program. “The aim of the Adopt-a-Police Officer program is to bolster police presence within these elementary schools in a fashion geared solely toward positive interactions with law enforcement.”

The 17 officers assigned to the program are asked to dedicate a small portion of their time every two weeks to their assigned school. The officers will have a large amount of discretion as to how their time is spent, but activities can include:

  • Eating lunch with students
  • Participation in recess or physical education activities
  • Reading to classrooms
  • Active participation in daily lessons
  • Attending ‘Parent’s Night’ type activities

“We believe the increased officer-student interaction fostered by this program will go a long way to help these kids have a positive view of law enforcement,” says Blenner. “We want these students to learn that police don’t only show up when there’s a crisis. We want them to know that we’re people too, and that our officers want to be there for them in a positive environment as well.”

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