The Kodiak High School Safety Officer, Jeff Holden, recently moved on from the position after 11 years.
Part of the safety officer’s job is to address issues seen in school halls, like theft or drug possession. Holden says the officer keeps students accountable and helps them learn from their mistakes.
He feels working with kids is how he’s made a difference.
“You know in traditional police work, you’re out there helping people, but you really don’t get to change how people are, and I think that when you’re a positive role model and you can mentor kids, you can make a big difference in their lives and in yours.”
Holden explains the position is about forming relationships with the students.
That’s also what school board member Julie Hill emphasized last night at the school board’s regular meeting, where the board recognized Holden for his service. Hill pointed out that many of the students Holden affected are now adult members of the community.
School Superintendent Larry LeDoux lauded Holden for his contribution to a caring school atmosphere.
“A lot of people see police officers in schools as more interventive response, but in Officer Holden’s case, he’s preventative, because he’s developed a positive school environment at Kodiak High School and that’s the best thing that we can do to keep [schools safe].”
A new officer will step into the position next year.
Holden says he would have continued on as school safety officer if he had his choice, but it’s time to let less experienced officers try their hand at it.
Holden will now focus on other aspects of police work, like training officers in the field.