On Tuesday, School Resource Officer Jamie Alary and Officer Cara Thoen from the Erie Police Department, presented 20 students from Vista Ridge Academy with Selfless Respect for Others certificates during the first annual SRO Award Luncheon. Two students from each grade were selected by their peers for the event.
Officers Alary and Thoen decided on Selfless Respect for Others using a play on words with SRO (School Resource Officer). The purpose of the event is to recognize the students that do good things in and outside of school by showing selfless respect for others in everything that they do.
Vista Ridge Academy was one out of the seven schools in the Town of Erie to participate in this event.
During the event, Officers Alary and Thoen answered questions from the students. The students learned what gear the officers wear every day and that it weighs between 30 and 40 pounds. Students had the opportunity to hear dispatch announce that there were several goats on a road outside of town. And, they learned Officer Thoen’s preferred greeting method is a fist bump.
After the students received their certificates, Officer Alary offered for the students to see their police cars.
“The whole purpose of this [event] was to reach out and meet a lot of the kids that we don’t get an opportunity to, because often times in our job we’re dealing with criminal things happening in the schools, unfortunately. This was our opportunity to reach out to those kids and let them know that we’re here for them and open up those lines of communication between them and the police department and us,” said Officer Alary.
Vista Ridge Academy looks forward to participating in this event again next year. Officers Alary and Thoen have enjoyed working with Vista Ridge Academy this year.
“We love working with Vista Ridge Academy and how open they are to ideas. We saw how affective and amazing the school was with the Anti-Bullying Day. None of the other schools went all out like that. It was amazing to come out to the school,” said Officers Alary and Thoen.