cops: Resource officers provide much more than hall
By J.P. Rodriguez
LCPD school resource
post in fron of the Justice Building in Logan.
These officers are assigned to the various schools in
Top row: Sgt. Louise Speth, detectives Denny Bird, Nathan
Bottom row: detectives Chris Kleven, Anthony Williams,
Ostermiller / Photo By J.P. Rodriguez
March 27, 2009 | LOGAN School resource officers who
are assigned to work in the Logan School District do
much more than just patrolling the halls to make them
"Its not just your typical police officer-in-the-school
to make sure that the kids aren't misbehaving. There
is a lot more to it than that," said Sgt. Louise
Speth of Logan City Police Department, who is in charge
of the detectives that work in Logan's schools.
"They also do a lot of education, a lot of outreach,
a lot of [public relations work] for the department,"
said Speth. "They all had successful careers in
patrol, and now have moved into school resources division
because of some skills and talents they showed, that
broadened their police role."
One of the educational services that the officers
at the elementary and middle schools offer is by teaching
a relative new program.
"We do implement what we call the NOVA program,"
Nova stands for "Nurturing Opportunities, Values,
and Accountability" and has been taught in elementary
schools for the past two years, and at the middle school
for one year, said Sgt. Denny Bird.
"It is not like a new DARE. It's a different
program," said Bird, who teaches NOVA to fifth-grade
He was referring to the old Drug Abuse Resistance
Education that was previously taught in Logan schools
to warn children of the dangers of alcohol and illegal
"It talks about not using drugs, but it also
talks about self esteem and bullying, Internet safety,
anger management, and many different topics," said
Bird about the new program, which he feels is more up
to date to the challenges that face youth today.
"It was something that would fit better for our
community," he said. "It is looking for good
opportunities, and then holding people accountable for
their choices and actions."
While NOVA is taught to students in the fifth and
sixth grades, officers at the various schools offer
a wade variety of services to educators and school administrators.
"I think we just do a wide variety of all sorts
of classes for the teachers," said Sgt. Nate Mutter,
who also teaches NOVA to sixth grade students. "Almost
whatever we are asked to do."
Besides the officers assigned to the elementary and
middle schools, others are assigned to the high schools,
including Logan High School, Bridgerland Applied Technology
College, and Fast Forward charter high school.
Among the services that these officers provide include
classes in dating violence, inappropriate cell phone
use, possession of illegal substance (drugs and alcohol),
and pretty much what teachers may ask them to, said
Sgt. Anthony Williams, who works mostly with BATC and
"And after school it's scouts, community groups,
and church groups, peer court, and everything else,"
said Williams, pointing out that because kids are already
familiar with these detectives, they are asked to participate
in various events besides school activities.
Besides offering these services to the schools, these
officers still have to enforce the law and keep the
"I think what you'll see with these detectives
that they do enforcement," said Speth. "There
are criminal cases that come up."
While LCPD said crime is not a big problem at the
high school, some issues like theft and truancy do have
to be dealt by these police officers.
"Every type of crime that I can think of, kids
are involved somehow," said Williams, explaining
that while children often are not the ones who commit
the crimes, they may know who is, or somebody who is
affected by it. Often, children request to talk to these
officers by name when police investigate other issues,
"They're obviously very concerned with school
safety, working with the school faculty to make sure
that the school campus remain tamed in a safe way,"
These officers and others of LCPD are also prepared
to respond to any crisis that may arise at the schools,
said Capt. Jeff Curtis.
He said that recently, LCPD personnel went to the
Swanson Training Center, a facility in Ogden designed
to help law enforcement train in various types of emergencies
that they may face.
"People know that we are well prepared here in
Logan, and that keeps them from coming here to cause
trouble," said Williams, who is also a member of
SWAT team, a special unit trained and equipped to deal
with a variety of police emergencies.
While police cannot go into the details of the training
these officers receive, Curtis said that the LCPD is
well prepared to deal with any crisis that may arise
at the schools, or elsewhere in Logan.