February 2, 2018 – In an effort to support a positive school climate across the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD), the District has partnered up with the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) to have two Resource Officers exclusively serve BCSD schools. The announcement was made during a press conference at Emerson Middle School. The purposes of this partnership are to help in addressing chronic absenteeism and truancy, and to support safety for target areas within the District and City.
For BCSD Superintendent, Doc Ervin, the partnership is helping to continue focusing on two main District goals. “One is to continue the positive culture and climate in all schools; goal two, is continue to combat truancy because there is a correlation between students in being at the classroom and their academic performance. In addition, we need to ensure safe schools for all students,” he said.
“We all know that education is the gateway for success. It is imperative that children focus in learning while we provide a safe and enriching environment for all students at BCSD. I see that the BCSD and BPD have mutual goals,” said Karen Goh, Mayor of the City of Bakersfield.
Lyle Martin, BPD Police Chief, talked about the importance of addressing absenteeism. “If kids are not at school, they are not learning. If kids feel safe in class, they can concentrate on learning. It is a holistic approach: making our city better, and taking care of our children,” he said.
The School Resource Officers are Sandeep Malhi and Charles Pratt, who have already been serving BCSD schools as part of their daily responsibilities. “They understand the expectations that BCSD and BPD have, as well as the expectations of the parents. Officers Malhi and Pratt have nothing but the best interest of our children in mind,” said Martin.
BCSD students and parents were present to welcome the officers. “As a parent, I will feel safer knowing that we have the School Resource Officers on hand, that extra security is there. I am excited for it, and there will be positive results,” said Brooke Jenkins, parent of students at Noble, Harris and Chavez Elementary Schools.
Jayden Dock is an 8th Grade student at Emerson Middle School. He shared that the School Resource Officers are also great mentors. “It is great to have the officers in our campus; they are always motivating us to be at school and to continue our studies to achieve a university degree,” he said.
The agreement between BCSD and BPD began on February 1, 2018 and will continue through June 8, 2018.