PIATT COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A local deputy is paving the way by helping out the youngest population. The sound is unmistakable: There’s a deputy in the building.
“I really can’t put into words how excited I am.”
Deputy Lindsey Bross is the first school resource officer patrolling the halls of Monticello’s Lincoln School.
“I’ve seen a difference between, like the first day and right now. The first day, everyone was giving me looks like, what’re you doing here? Who’s in trouble?”
But now? They know no one’s in trouble. Deputy Bross is here for them.
“I want the kiddos to know, find the police, the police will help you.”
Even though Deputy Bross has only been in school for two months, she has had to step in a few times. Principal Mary Vogt says she’s noticed a difference.
“They’re the ones who are most excited to see her. They’re the ones who recognize, ‘Hey, we talked, you’re a pretty cool person,’ and they want to do a good job and they want her to know that they’re doing a good job.”
But, Deputy Bross isn’t just patrolling the halls of Lincoln Elementary. She makes her way to four districts in Piatt County.
“We’re headed to Washington schools and the high school.”
That’s where she says sometimes things can get a little tricky.
“It’s my goal to have them interact with me and say hi back to me. Sometimes when I say hi, they just kind of look down and continue on to where they’re going.”
This day, they’re certainly interacting, but she says you really never know what you’re going to get.
“I know, with the high school, it’s going to take time for you to trust me and get to know me and that’s fine. But, I’m here to help you out. That’s what I want them to know. I’m here to help you out or just talk to you in general or just let you know that I’m here for you.”
At the end of the day, she doesn’t want them to think of her as just a cop patrolling their schools.
“Sometimes, it’s not always about law enforcement, which is what we want to get across, because I’m not just a police officer or a deputy. I want to be an informal mentor to them, an informal teacher to them. I just want to be everything I can be to them besides just a police officer.”
Helping to shape and mold them throughout their school years. Deputy Bross spends two days at Monticello schools, then makes her way through Bement, Cerro Gordo and Deland-Weldon.