SAN GABRIEL, CA – San Gabriel Police Department has kickstarted a new outreach program with the San Gabriel Unified School District tasked with fostering positive relationships between the police and schools.
The School and Community Engagement Team (SCET) is based out of the District office and includes Officer Martin Garcia, crime prevention Officer Stacy Gutierrez and a rotation of cadets. SCET formalizes previous police outreach efforts and will help establish best practices for building positive relationships with students, as well as address any community-wide issues affecting SGUSD students.
“San Gabriel Unified is dedicated to providing all students with the best possible educational experience, regardless of personal or academic obstacles,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We are thrilled to partner with the San Gabriel Police Department to further our efforts to support the needs of our students and offer a supportive learning environment.”
SCET will create community and school-tailored outreach programs that will strengthen early intervention efforts, reward positive behavior and increase student and parent engagement.
“We believe enforcement should be a last resort, and we should be leading the community and local students with education and compassion,” Garcia said. “We are going to do our part to support SGUSD in its pursuit of educating children in a safe, welcoming and engaging environment.”
The team will collaborate with San Gabriel Unified principals and administrators to determine how to best serve the unique needs of the District’s eight schools, but will also encourage spontaneous engagement efforts. In one instance of impromptu outreach, a police officer threw a pizza party for students and teachers.
Every sworn member of the police department will also visit one of the public schools in San Gabriel; afterward, the officers will serve as each school’s resource officer. Field officers will visit their schools weekly, and other department members will visit once a month.
“We want children to understand that we’re here as a resource and that we’re working together to make the quality of life better,” San Gabriel Police Chief Eugene Harris said. “Everybody at the department understands that kids are important, and that is where our best policing effort starts.”
091117_SANGAB_SCET: San Gabriel Unified has partnered with the San Gabriel Police Department to launch the School and Community Engagement Team (SCET), which aims to foster positive relationships between the police and schools. SCET includes officers Martin Garcia and Stacy Gutierrez, who are based in the District office.