ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Officer Victoria Schmitt patrols the hallways at Northside High School, her alma mater, with the goal of improving officer-student interactions.
Schmitt’s love for the school goes back to when she was a student.
“I, of course, went to Northside and this is my home school and been with Northside a long time technically, just not as a school resource officer, and before this I was at Northside Middle School.”
Now, she is trying to make positive connections with students.
“The majority of the kids I interact with, whether they’re in trouble or not, have been very respectful and will eventually open up and warm up to me,” Schmitt said.
All of Roanoke County Public Schools’ high schools and middle schools have a school resource officer (SRO) on campus, an effort district officials back wholeheartedly.
According to Chuck Lionberger, the Director of Community Relations for Roanoke County Public Schools, “Our SROs are confidantes for students. Our SROs are individuals that our students can come to if there are concerns.”
With current events, Schmitt says her position in the school is key to changing hearts and minds.
“There is so much negativity surrounding the profession based off of everything that’s going on and I’m able to be that connection.”
She told WFXR News she hopes that connection will positively influence students.