Schools officer building bonds

After two years in post, Schools Resource Officer Murray Spelay says it’s an extremely rewarding position and is sending thanks to all he works with.

PC Spelay has been working with young people at John Gray High School since May 2004, said an RCIP press release.

‘My role as the SRO is widely varied,’ he said. ‘I act as the police liaison between the students and staff to the police service. I investigate complaints ranging from thefts and assaults to drug offences. I also deal with issues such as bullying and speak with students on matters such as driver safety and matters of law.’

In addition, PC Spelay provides a police presence on the school grounds to help provide a safe learning environment for students and staff.

‘I would say the main advantage of having a Schools Resource Officer is that over a period of time, you get to know the students on a personal level rather than just dealing with them when they are in trouble,’ he said. ‘This leads to a development of trust between the students and not only to the SRO, but to police in general.

‘This role, although extremely challenging, is a very rewarding position when you see that you are making a difference in the lives of young people.’

Prior to joining the RCIPS, PC Spelay served nine years with the Edmonton Police Service in Canada. During that time he worked in patrol, served as beat officer, worked in surveillance and undercover operations, and the final three years held a School Resource Officer position.

Having graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree, he was employed as a youth addiction counsellor and youth worker prior to his service with the police.

PC Spelay is encouraging anyone who would like to discuss the Schools Resource Officer programme to contact him on 916- 4765.

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