Mesa, AZ -Mayor John Giles and Police Chief Ramon Batista led a discussion today in Columbia, SC that focused on school safety and how local governments can coordinate with school district as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Fall Leadership Meeting.
Mayor Giles discussed the relationship between the City of Mesa and Mesa Public Schools. He emphasized that the primary focus of any city is public safety, and nothing is more important than protecting children and schools. Elected officials and school district leaders in Mesa have forged mutually beneficial relationships that increase the safety of students and the community.
"As Mayor, I have an obligation to ensure our schools are safe. I'm a parent and I want to send my kids to school knowing they will be safe and come home at the end of the day." Mayor John Giles said. "Unfortunately, tragic events occurring in communities around the country remind us that we can't take student safety for granted. Our Police Departments need the support of their elected officials to continue to prioritize this effort and have the resources they need to be successful."
The Mesa Police Department works with the school district to provide School Resource Officers (SROs) on campuses throughout the city to monitor student safety. They become a part of the community and can frequently spot changes in individual student behavior and can immediately recognize someone who should not be on campus.
"Our SROs are some of the best trained officers on the force," Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista said. "Officers coordinate with school districts to identify students displaying troubling actions or making concerning comments and early intervention helps address potential threats and gets students the resources they need to address what's causing the issue."
The event was sponsored by the Department of Justice's COPS Office and the International Association of Chief of Police. Other topics during the day long session included promoting community policing, addressing homelessness, combating human trafficking and featured mayors and police chief from Houston, TX; Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH and Boston, MA.
Contact: Melissa Randazzo