TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Thousands of students are heading back to Toledo Public Schools Thursday.
While elementary school students only have a half day of school their first day back, the district is making sure they stay safe by having school resource officers on hand.
Education is of utmost importance for the Toledo Public School District, but also high on their priority list is safety.
The district has seven school resource officers placed at different schools.
All the officers are ALICE trained and ready to handle any situation, including an active shooter situation. School resource officers have a three-point approach when it comes to policing the schools. The first is enforcing the law the second is being a teacher. That's is in regard to educating the students about drugs and alcohol. And the third is being a counselor.
"I want the parents to understand that we are here to make sure that they are safe. That we provide a safe environment so that they can learn. But not only for the students, also for the staff," said Officer Cruz.
He says their job is also to establish and forge relationships with the students, to know and understand them.
Officer Abe Cruz, school resource officer for Start High School, says their gaining the students' trust is important because students have an array of issues and when the students are able to put their trust in the officers the officers are better able to help them.
"I want them to have a positive interaction with us. I mean, the whole idea of being here is establishing a strong relationship to the point where they come to you and they want to come to you with whatever issues they have," said Officer Cruz.
The first full day for elementary students is Friday.