More school resource officers placed in Rensselaer County

September 12, 2018 07:22 PM

Rensselaer County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Manny is taking his street smarts to the hallways of the Hoosic Valley Junior-Senior High School.

"With the last 12 years, I've seen a lot of different problems on the streets. I figured out this is where the differences are going to be made," said Manny.

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Now the school's resource officer, Manny hopes to combat violence both inside the school and out.

"I think the main thing is building good relationships with the kids and also the surrounding community," said Manny.

Manny is one of 33 officers to go through the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Department school resource officer training program. The one-week intensive program focuses on communication with students and staff to help stop violence before it starts.

"They have to be a teacher, a police officer last and a counselor most importantly. That's the basics of the training," said Undersheriff Edward Bly.

Once certified, it's up to the superintendent to choose the candidate they think is the best fit for their school.

Superintendent Michael Apostol says adding an SRO into the budget was an easy decision.

"The car out there in front is worth the money. If they go by, if somebody's got a personal beef they might come in. Someone wants to, you know, shoot up the school or come in and cause trouble it might be deterred by his car being out there," said Apostol.

For Manny, the focus is on making the students feel safe and secure at a time when many don't. He says he has an open-door policy and a friendly ear for anyone who needs one.

"We prepare for the worst, but we also hope for the best. You know, as long as every one of these kids can go home safe at night, I'm happy that I was able to do my job," said Manny.

Rensselaer County also has school resource officers in Hoosic Falls and Averill Park.


Jacquie Slater

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