Opp schools, city partner to provide full-time SRO

Published 9:15 am Monday, September 12, 2022

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Opp City Schools and the City of Opp recently announced a partnership to provide a full-time school resource officer for the district with Officer Jabe Thompson beginning his duties immediately.

Officer Thompson will bring enhanced safety and security, and strengthen the city-school relationships for the benefit of all district families, students, staff and residents of the City of Opp. Officer Thompson will work a flexible schedule during the school year and hold many duties for the district. This will include the execution and enhancement of school safety plans, presenting safety information to students and families, and law enforcement action, as needed.

Officer Thompson will not be a school disciplinarian but will assist in fostering relationships with students, their families and agency resources at Opp Elementary School, Opp Middle School and Opp High School.

“We are looking forward to bringing this important safety position to our school district and for our district families. The SRO position is a valuable addition to our district,” said OCS Superintendent Michael Smithart. “We appreciate the City of Opp’s support in making a difference for our students and families through this partnership.

Opp Mayor Becky Bracke was also grateful for the hiring of Thompson.

“We are happy to announce a partnership with the Opp City School System to provide school resource officers. We recognize that our children’s safety and well welfare are critical, and a secure location provides the proper environment for learning and education. By adding a qualified security presence, our schools can address the needs of the students and focus on better education methods. This commitment proves that we choose to invest in our community and children,” Bracke said.

Opp Police Department and Opp City Schools have always worked well together, according to Opp Police Chief Kevin Chance.

“I am pleased that Superintendent Michael Smithart and Mayor Becky Bracke were able to work together on an agreement to provide a school resource officer to the Opp City Schools. A school resource officer will provide an extra layer of security to our schools in an effort to keep students and staff safe. It is my desire that this program will grow, and we can add another school resource officer in the future. I also believe this is an opportunity to make a positive impression and foster relationships between law enforcement and our youth in Opp. We are excited that Officer Jabe Thompson agreed to come back to us to take on this role. He is very capable, and we believe he will do an outstanding job,” Chance said.