The hallways were empty but there was a great deal of activity taking place on the College Community Campus. As soon as the school year ended, facility improvement work began.

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College Community Hires School Resource Officer
Meet Officer Janae Obbink

Beginning in this fall, the College Community School District, in cooperation with the City of Cedar Rapids, will have its first-ever School Resource Officer (SRO) who will be present at both Prairie High School and Point. Officer Janae Obbink, an 11 year veteran, will begin her duties effective August 20, 2014. The primary focus of the SRO program is one that aligns with the academic vision of our schools and district.

"We look forward to having an SRO on our campus," said Superintendent John Speer. "We feel this will be an excellent resource for our students to help make their learning environment even safer. The SRO will help with educational opportunities for our students dealing with social media concerns; internet safety, harassment situations and more importantly will help foster positive relationships with students."

Below are questions and answers about Officer Janae Obbink and our SRO program.

Can you tell me about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in northeast Iowa and after college I moved to Denver, Colorado. In 2003 I was hired with the Commerce City Police Department and worked as a patrol officer for three years before deciding to move back to Iowa and closer to family. I started my career with the Cedar Rapids Police Department in 2006. Since that time I have worked patrol, I am currently a bike patrol officer, hostage negotiator and field training officer. The last three years I was at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School as their School Resource Officer.

Why did you choose to become a school resource officer?
I became a SRO to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and school aged kids. I strive to be a positive influence and role model to all students.

What role do you see yourself playing in our schools and what are your responsibilities?
As a SRO I have an open door policy. I want students to know they can come to me for various reasons. Criminal complaints, home problems, social media, and harassment and bullying are just a few of the daily issues I deal with. My goal is to provide a safe learning environment, and help foster a positive relationship with students. I am available to talk with parents and students during school hours and focus on grades 7 through 12.

Where will your office reside?
My main office will be at the high school.

What are your hours?
My hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Will you be providing educational programming for our students?
Yes, one of my favorite parts of being a SRO is the interaction I have with students in the classroom. Whether it is a group discussion about traffic stops, law related questions, social media, or internet safety, I think it is great to get the student's point of view and also share my knowledge and experience as a police officer.

When you wake up in the morning, what's the part of your job that really excites you?
Does school lunch count?! I like working with school staff and joking around with the students, maybe even help to pull a prank or two at times. (Only if it is in good fun and safe of course!) On a serious note, I really do want to help the community. I think helping youth is a good starting point and I want to let the students know that police officers are people too and we really do care.

I am really looking forward to starting the 2014-2015 school year with the College Community School District.

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