TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The pandemic may have put many things on hold, but the Tucson Police Department says it will never keep officers from helping students and their families.
In fact, TPD officers continue going door to door, though this time they are doing this to provide resources to the youth and their families.
“You’re not alone,” said Sergeant Dan Bustamante.
That’s the message Sgt. Bustamante wants students to hear and believe, through actions.
“We want an opportunity to, to show what our intentions are, not just say what they are. And, that’s what I’m hoping that we’ll be allowed is that opportunity to move forward and really demonstrate how very much we want this success for all kids, for all families,” he told KGUN9.
Bustamante is the supervisor for TPD’s School Resource Officers, known as SROS.
He says this program was originally created to respond to violence at schools, but now:
“The majority of schools are safe. They want to go to school and we want to promote that. We’re trying to emphasize the “R” in SRO, and be a resource. And connect family and youth to resources,” he added.
Here’s how they do it:
“I have six School Resource Officers. We’re based in six schools. Three in TUSD. Three in Amphi School District and every day we try to do some variation on all of the goals, which is education, mentorship and strengthening partnerships we already have to address whatever youth may have or a family,” said Bustamante.
So, when they make a call, knock on doors, or talk at a doorway, this is what they’re hoping to help with:
“Are they food insecure, are they housing insecure, their mental health, their emotional health,” he told KGUN9.
Here’s their message to students and their families during this time of uncertainty.
“You matter, you count, you’re important. There’s a lot of work ahead and we are looking forward to taking it all on, but not by ourselves. We have to be together. We have to, have to. A real relationship, it has to be,” added Bustamante.