Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Here’s why Newport News police officers are “adopting” elementary schools

The Newport News Police Department has partnered with several elementary schools as part of the Adopt-A-School mentorship program. (WYDaily/ Julia Marsigliano)
The Newport News Police Department has partnered with several elementary schools as part of the Adopt-A-School mentorship program. (WYDaily/ Julia Marsigliano)

NEWPORT NEWS — Children in elementary schools may see more cops this year.

The city’s police department has decided to expand the Adopt-A-School program to include all 24 public elementary schools.

Police Chief Steve Drew said officers will act as mentors and spend 30 minutes a week having some type of interaction with the students.

At least one officer will be assigned to each elementary school, he noted.

The mentors’ interactions with the students will range from greeting kids before or after school to reading during class or spending time with them during their lunch or recess hour, according to the department’s news release.

In addition, the officer can also attend special activities.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Grinstead went to Jenkins Elementary School and has decided to “adopt” the school, Drew said.

So why are the elementary schools having part-time mentors as opposed to full-time school resource officers like the middle and high schools?

Drew said the department does not have 26 officers he can assign as full-time school resources officers but what he can do is take 30 minutes of time a week to interact with students.

‘It’s important for me to set the example of how you want the officers to interact with the youth of the city,” Drew said.

Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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