DUBLIN, Ohio — In Gov. Mike DeWine's State of the State address, he mentioned in his proposed budget he wants more law enforcement to be present in public schools across Ohio.
Jerome Public High School in Dublin has a school resource officer who is already in place taking care of security for the building. The resource officer's name is Officer Paul Burks and took Spectrum News throughout the school to show what it's really like to have law enforcement in public schools.
"You put your heart and soul into being a school resource officer," Burks said. "You're basically taking on the role of a parent, you know, to some kids is being a parent."
Burks starts the day off by checking cameras. Then, he prepares to walk to the front of the building to greet students. He said it's crucial to watch the body language of students walking in. During this time, he makes sure they aren't bringing a weapon, or suspicious or harmful objects into the school.
Burks said he's known most of the students ever since middle school. He said school resource officers need to make the students feel comfortable and that's the top priority. He said sometimes you are their only venue to vent.
"You'll get from the very chatty to the not chatty at all. They just come, and I guess like adults, they need that first cup of coffee or that first few hours to start warming up," Burks said.
Burks makes his rounds and checks all of the doors of the school to make sure they are locked.
"Right now, I'm starting to secure the doors even though I have censors on them that start to send a message to my phone," Burks said.
He checks each door for safety concerns to make sure they are properly locked which could take nearly an hour, and then returns to his office to watch cameras once again.
He said if more officers were in school, from his personal opinion, that would be helpful.
"We're not disciplinarians, but we are here to set forth the law and schools they handle disciplines, so it'll be a great addition to the schools and I could see it curving the violence that occurs here in schools," Burks said.
The National Association of School Resource Officers estimates that between 14,000 and 20,000 school resource officers are currently in service across the country.
DeWine's proposed budget would like to help schools pay for more school resource officers in Ohio. On Feb. 2, DeWine announced that more than 900 schools will receive state funding support for physical safety and security upgrades as part of the latest round of Ohio's K through 12 school safety grant program.