Media release: Officers walking the halls of our area schools next year will serve a much larger role than safety and security. They will be taking more interest in the lives of children and working to build mentor relationships to help those who are struggling or outcast.
The Floyd County Police Department hosted a two-day class this week designed to empower officers and present a variety of tools that have been proven effective in building relationships with kids. A few present goals will be decreased drug use, at-risk behaviors and less incidents of bullying, but most important for the students is knowing that opportunities exist beyond the life they’re living.
School Resource officers from both FCPD and Rome Police Department attended, as well as school administrators from metro Atlanta and the Floyd and Rome School systems. The class was presented by instructors from My Life My Power, thanks to funding by the Atlanta-Carolina High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area office. Floyd County was recently selected as a HIDTA region due to drug arrests and deaths related to illegal drugs and opioids.
Course instructors included Daniel Puder, a retired pro wrestler and MMA fighter, and Jennifer Kramer, an educator and school Superintendent from Georgia. Together they hav
e created an Accredited EQ based Private School System currently in Florida but have plans to expand on a national and global scale.
“People who are driven by a vision are happier and can live more productive lives,” said Sgt. Chris Fincher of the Floyd County Police Department. “If we as officers can live that model it will surely be passed on to the students and children we work with every day.”
Using the program and training GPS for SUCCESS, it shows officers that they are capable of having an impact in communities beyond what they ever imagined. “Probably the most challenging part of life is not being impacted by the negative influences of people around you,” Fincher said. “This class was really eye-opening and showed me how contagious personalities can be – both positive and negative.
“It was an awesome class,” said Floyd County Sgt. William Wacker, school resource officer at Armuchee Middle School. “It was a very interactive class with up and coming, new age material that will really benefit our students, especially those who have it tougher in life and who suffer from different issues.
Wacker aid the tools from this class will “help us in law enforcement and as SROs to better work with kids and understand what they’re feeling.”
Both officers said that overall they have a better idea how to serve and help kids succeed in life.
The principles taught by My Life My Power and presented in a course called GPS For SUCCESS. The techniques and data produced by the group are studied by William and Mary University to help them bolster support for their program.
“Our educators are doing tremendous work, and their days area already packed with learning but we want to be able to make an impact with our conversations in the hallways of school, in the lunchroom or in the gym,” Fincher said. “Kids in school are watching us as soon as we walk through the door, so while they’re watching they can follow our examples and hopefully do well in life.”