ARIZONA NEWS

Chandler school resource officer program recognized as model agency

Aug 4, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Facebook photo/Chandler Police Department)...
(Facebook photo/Chandler Police Department)
(Facebook photo/Chandler Police Department)

PHOENIX – The Chandler Police Department’s school resource program was recently recognized as a model school resource officer agency by the National Association of School Resource Officers.

The award comes as the number of school resource officers in the East Valley is increasing.

The Chandler Police Department this year has 11 school resource officers in the Chandler Unified School District, Kyrene School District and Mesa Public Schools.

That’s the most school resource officers in the history of the department, according to officer Stephen Dieu.

Dieu is the school resource officer at Chandler High School and has helped lead the Chandler Police Department’s school resource program for the past 13 years.

He was also a member of a school safety task force that provided recommendations on the best use of available resources to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

“There’s a greater awareness and attention to what’s happening on campuses and greater recognition to positive outcomes in the lives of the young people that SROs (school resource officers) have the chance to interact with,” Dieu, who has been an officer for 17 years, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“Our school resource officers are trained in critical incident and stress management, we’re trained in de-escalation and, even more recently, we were trained in first aid for individuals that work with youth.”

Dieu is proud of what the department’s school resource officer program has accomplished and believes it will only get stronger.

He says their goal is to build and strengthen relationships with the growing number of officers on campus.

“We want to continue to contribute to a safe school environment that’s conducive to teaching and learning, collaborating with available resources on campus and being a positive approachable adult on campus,” Dieu said. “Our focus is not to arrest kids, we are there as a prevention.”

Funding for the school resource officer program comes from the state, the Chandler Police Department, school districts and grants.

Dieu said the program expanded when additional funding was put into the school safety program, a grant funding through the Arizona Department of Education.

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Chandler school resource officer program recognized as model agency