(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) School resource officer Devin Kallauner is quickly becoming the top cop in the halls of the St. Joseph School District.
Kallauner, a 20-year veteran of the St. Joseph Police Department, has recently taken on a new role as school resource officer.
"I really enjoy what I'm doing right now," said Kallauner. "I have been working as a police officer on the street since 1995 and it was a pleasant change to come into the schools and be able to work with students and staff."
Kallauner has been the SRO for Central High School and Bode and Truman middle schools for the past two years. Kallauner said the life of a SRO isn't limited to just security, but it also includes building relationships between kids and the police department.
"You get to know people on a different level. We don't see them when something negative is going on. You can foster relationships in the hallway, talking to kids in the lunchroom, in between classes."
Kallauner feels it's important as a SRO that kids know they can talk to him.
"I talk to kids on a down day and my goal to is perk them back up and let them leave my office, the principal's office, the hallway, the classroom, whatever it is, get them to go back with a little bit different view than what they came in to talk to us about."
In addition to keeping students safe, Kallauner and other school resource offices have started a junior police academy and youth sports camp giving kids another chance to see officers in a different light.
"We get to see the kids and the kids interact with us. They see us eat, they see us laugh. They usually just see us in uniform walking around. It gives them a new perspective on who we are and what we can do."
Kallauner was recognized for his efforts as an SRO taking second place as SRO of the Year at a recent school resource officer conference.
"There's a lot of school resource officers in Missouri and to come in second felt really good. I feel like I'm going down the right path as a school resource officer. It's nice to know that they appreciate me and it's nice to give back to them what I've been wanting to do for a long time."
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