Aberdeen students are seeing a new face in the halls as they head back to school. The school district and the city have added an additional school resource officer. A federal grant covers a large portion of her salary for three years.
Morgan Black will split her time between the two middle schools. Whether you find her at Simmons Middle School or across town at Holgate, Black plans to impact kids through her new position.
"I grew up in a school with a school resource officer and I thought it was a great idea and I think it gets children very comfortable with the idea of speaking to law enforcement," Black said.
Black is the district's second resource officer. She joins Jeff Carlson who serves in the high school and has for the past decade.
Black's position could make the entire community safer. Students have a lot of information, Carlson says, they may be willing to share with an officer they know.
"They'll come down and offer tips on things that may have happened out in the community as far as crimes go and we've solved crimes because of that," Carlson said.
There are close to 500 students at each of the middle schools so the additional resource officer will have the potential of reaching close to 1,000 more kids.
Black will reach out to students by teaching or simply talking with them. She'll also investigate when students could be in danger, handling cases such as abuse. At the same time, Black will offer a law enforcement presence at the schools.
The district has also taken other steps to improve security around buildings. It added to measures already in place. All school entrances are secured and crews have replaced some doors and locks.
"We have large crowds of students and parents at all times and any time you have large groups of people, you just want to make sure everyone is safe in their environment," superintendent Becky Guffin said.