TroyAugust 13, 2013
Troy police officer will keep her eyes on schools
By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer
Troy police officer Gail Jasak grew up attending Wass Elementary, Larson Middle School and Athens High School.
Now, she will patrol those and all schools in Troy, including preschools, private schools and day care centers, as the Troy police School Resource Officer. She will also respond to general calls for service as needed.
After working as a patrol officer on the night shift since she started on the Troy police force four years ago, Jasak started her new duties last week, stopping by summer school programs, the Troy Community Center, the Boys & Girls Club of Troy and day care facilities.
She completed her bachelor’s degree at Ferris State University and attended the Law Enforcement Agency there.
“I wanted to work with people,” she said. “I get satisfaction making people happy.
“My career goal has been to work with youth, being a role model for kids, being someone they can trust or talk to,” she said. She plans to develop relationships with administrators, teachers and counselors.
“She’s a great fit,” said Troy Police Sgt. Andy Breidenich, who heads the Community Services for the Troy police.
He explained that the Troy School District is paying 26 percent of the cost of the school resource officer, and the Troy City Council approved the rest of the cost of the position as part of the 2013-14 city budget.
Breidenich said Jasak will likely have help on her new patrol soon after the department receives confirmation of grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for an additional two school resources officers.
“I’m confident it will definitely occur,” he said. “I’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks. Ideally, I’d like to see four (school resource officers).”
Under terms of the pending two-year grant, the city match is about 40 percent for the two officers for two years; then, the municipality agrees to fund the positions in full the third year.
Jasak patrols the schools in full police uniform in a fully marked squad car.
Breidenich said the purpose of the school resource officer is to deter problems and prevent crimes, “because she’s there.”
Safe Ed, a private security firm the Troy School District funds, made up of retired Troy police officers, will continue to provide security at schools in the district.
Jasak said the reception on her new patrol, so far, has been good.
“They’re excited to see me,” she said.
Ken Miller, executive director of maintenance and operations for the Troy School District, said that work has been completed on a number of security measures at school buildings this summer. Security access readers and intercom/video units have been installed at each elementary and middle school.
“Once the programming is completed, the access devices will be issued to the teachers and staff members. These devices will allow the building to remain secured throughout the day, without restricting access for the teachers during recess periods,” Miller explained via email.
“The intercom/video station will allow the office staff to communicate and see who is requesting access to the facility,” he said.
Kerry Birmingham, director of media and community relations for the Troy School District, explained that the intercom and camera would connect to the school office secretaries’ computers.
She noted that school resource officers are invaluable.
“This allows us to continue to use them as a resource and continues our partnership with the Troy Police Department, which has always been great. They are able to provide real-world assistance right at that moment.”
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