School resource officers: protection from the inside

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Jeff Schremp is the school resource officer at Wausau West High School.

Exterior of Wausau West High School (WSAW photo)

"I hope for the best, but at the police department we train for the worse," he said. "Ultimately I'm here to protect anybody that's in this building."

He said the weapons incidents at two schools in Wisconsin this week, shows exactly what school resource officers, like him, are supposed to do.

"We hate to say that we're copy cat, but it definitely makes us be on higher alert."

It's the continuous training between the police department and school district that contains any threat.

"I've trained with officers from Oshkosh and from Waukesha and I know those agencies are ultilizing the same training we are."

Officer schremp added that building relationships with students also makes a difference.

"Some kids really have a connection with me, so that they see us as a person and not just this scary officer walking around."

His general presence inside the building is also helpful.

"Having a uniformed officer in a school, we are armed. You pull up in front of West, and my patrol vehicle is parked right here. It tells everyone on the outside, hey the police are here," he explained.

Officer schremp hopes being there if a critical incident should happen will put students, staff and parents at ease.

"If something arises in the school that someone brings a gun or a weapon or wants to do harm, that's what I'm here for."