Benton Did Their Homework with Additions to School Resource Program

  School will be starting back on August 19th and the Benton Police Department has a new lesson plan.  There will be an additional school resource officer, Sgt. Lisa Stuart, added to the current lineup this school year along with a totally redesigned patrol vehicle and uniform.  

    During the spring it was decided that the Benton School District and the Benton Police Department would enter into an agreement to split the cost of adding an additional school resource officer to the program.  This was done to further enhance the security of the children and teachers, and to ensure a safer environment that places the emphasis on learning and not fear.  
    Benton School Superintendent Jeff Cullum had this to say about the partnership, “We are excited to partner with the Benton Police Department.  This year we have taken the time to review our safety and security procedures throughout the district.  We have instituted some changes that include:  adding the additional school resource officer position, structural changes to the buildings, and started a new safety team that includes community members, law enforcement, and school administrators.  We are moving in the right direction to ensure the safety and security of our children remains a top priority.  More information will be available at the Benton school summit on August 1st. being held at the high school auditorium.  There will also be a safety forum running concurrently on the 1st for our district staff that will include several presentations on school safety and security.”  
    Sgt. Stuart is a 17 year law enforcement officer with over 2,500 hours of certified law enforcement training that she brings to the program.  She has worked in various capacities within the department over the years including patrol and the criminal investigative division.  
    Our other two veteran school resource officers are Ofc. Quinton Jackson and Ofc. Joey Bedsole.  Ofc. Jackson has been a school resource officer for 9 years and has been with the department for over 11 years overall.  Ofc. Bedsole has been a school resource officer for 5 years and has been an officer for over 8 years overall.  
    All three officers have attended numerous training courses through the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas Safe School Association, and other certified school based training classes.  Our mission is to not only help protect students from dangers from the outside, but also to educate and empower them to make good choices by teaching classes on such things as Stranger Danger, Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, and Bicycle Safety.  
    The new school resource officer vehicle is a Ford Mustang that was paid for courtesy of your local drug dealer and was acquired through Everett GMC.  The wrap design on the car was done in conjunction with Big Impressions in Bryant and our officers, and it will be the look of future school resource vehicles.  Big Impressions did the final wrap on the car and Fleet Safety in North Little Rock outfitted it with the emergency equipment.  
    Their uniforms incorporate the Benton School District Panther logo on them to help them develop a good rapport with students. The uniforms are unique to only school resource officers and were designed by them, and made by Artistic Threads.