Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — A grant-funded partnership between the Medina Police Department and the Medina Central School District has provided a degree of security and relationships that will benefit the community, school and police officials agree.
Student Resource Officer Chad Kenward, a patrolman with the MPD, is stationed inside of the high school for the 2012-13 school year. He fills a disciplinary role while serving to develop positive relationships with students through his presence and activities like floor hockey games before school.
Kenward said he can feel students getting comfortable with his presence, especially in the early-morning clattering in front of the goal.
”It’s a physical game, but at first the students we’re hesitant to bump into me,” Kenward said. “Those barriers are breaking down.
Medina Police Chief Jose Avila welcomed the idea of having an officer in school when the school proposed bringing one of the department’s ten officers in-house after Medina applied a $50,000 legislative grant from State Sen. George Maziarz towards renewing the program — Superintendent Jeff Evoy said the district is pursing funding avenues to continue the program in future years.
“The students get to see the police in a positive way, it’s an investment in the future,” Avila said. “It makes me feel that the kids are a lot safer.”
Kenward responds to issues like truancy, bullying and drug abuse while also giving talks to classes and acting as a preventative force.
”The kids can come in to talk about anything from bullying to problems at home,” said Kenward, whose three children are students across the campus at Wise Middle School and Oak Orchard Elementary School. “With my own children in the district, I want it to be safe.”
The relationship with the school and the village police is not a new one. Kenward returned to a position that he held for four years under a separate grant program.