Norwalk expands School Resource Officer program
Norwalk has had a school resource officer at its secondary campus for the past 20 years, and this year another officer is joining the elementary schools to better serve the district.
Lilly Dunlop was hired to be the second full time school resource officer for Norwalk schools with a focus on students in preschool through fifth grade. She will be stationed at Orchard Hills Elementary School, but will travel to the other schools throughout the week. Her goal is to build relationships with students and serve as a mentor.
“We want to help them,” Dunlop said of students. “That’s the biggest part of our job is to be helpers.”
Dunlop is already a familiar face to many Norwalk students. She previously helped School Resource Officer Brad Criswell with Drug Abuse Resistance Education, commonly known as the DARE program, for fifth-grade students. She also started the police department’s Limitless Youth For Excellence or LYFE program where young people and law enforcement create relationships through different events such as sports, field trips, and service projects.
“We wanted to continue the relationships we built at DARE with kids who still wanted to interact with us,” Dunlop said. “You can’t save every kid, but if you can be a positive light in a handful I’ll take it.”
The Norwalk school district has doubled in size since SRO Criswell started in 2003. With the new buildings and additions it’s been difficult at times to be everywhere he’s needed, he said.
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