When it comes to working together to keep communities safe, the partnership between School District 73 and the Kamloops RCMP is a clear example.
Until May 15, police detachments across the country are celebrating National Police Week by engaging in public awareness campaigns to highlight the connections between police and their community partners. This year’s theme is “Working together to keep our communities safe.”
“As the Safer Schools contact for the school district, I couldn't be more appreciative of the partnership we have with the RCMP,” said SD73’s Vessy Mochikas, director of instruction for elementary education and learning services.
“The district has benefitted from RCMP liaison officers engaging in intramurals and other activities within schools. We've been fortunate to have officers lead different safety initiatives such as anti-bullying presentations, bike rodeos, safe driving zones, to name a few.”
While some of the work completed through the police and school district partnership may be obvious to parents and students, other important work occurs without many people ever realizing it does.
“There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes between local schools and police to help keep students safe, reduce risks and prevent situations before they ever materialize,” said Cpl. Dana Napier of the Kamloops RCMP’s crime prevention unit.
Some of that work is done through the violent threat risk assessment process, a collaborative effort between the school district, family consultants, child and mental-health workers and other partners. When a risk is identified that could impact the school and its students, the groups come together to discuss risk factors and develop safety plans to help prevent situations from escalating.
“They have also been incredible in providing quick response time in situations where we need their expertise to ensure our students are safe,” said Mochikas. “The RCMP has taken a leadership role in communicating safety education to families and school leaders. We are extremely grateful to the RCMP for working with us to keep our schools and communities healthy and safe.”