Nanaimo RCMP school liaison officers show off their new backpacks for upcoming school year. Left to right are constables Andrea Poitras, Misty Dymtar and Samantha Caram, Cpl. Jana Rose, and constables Denise Fraser and Gord Nowicki. Photo submitted

Nanaimo RCMP school liaison officers show off their new backpacks for upcoming school year. Left to right are constables Andrea Poitras, Misty Dymtar and Samantha Caram, Cpl. Jana Rose, and constables Denise Fraser and Gord Nowicki. Photo submitted

Nanaimo RCMP officers back on school grounds for fall semester

School liaison officers look for positive interactions with youths

Back to school isn’t just for students.

Nanaimo RCMP school liaison officers are also back on the school beat this semester.

According to an RCMP press release, the six-officer unit us excited about the start of another school year and helping to provide a resource for 13,000 students registered in the Nanaimo Ladysmith school district.

Cpl. Jana Rose, the officer in charge of the youth section, said duties vary from addressing criminal code issues, to looking into reports of bullying, making presentations in classrooms, and working with teachers, support staff and administrators.

“There are many challenges our officers face in the course of any day and they are often required to wear many hats,” said Rose.

Officers spend most of their days at high schools, but also stop by elementary schools on occasion.

“A visit to one of these many schools may simply consist of a walk around at recess interacting with youth,” notes the press release. “The visits are important though as it affords students the opportunity to engage with a police officer informally, while also opening lines of communication and building trust.”

RCMP say the school liaison officers are committed to engaging with young people “in a positive light.”

“They want the students to see them as real people who care for them and wish for each and every one of them to succeed and meet their personal goals,” the press release notes.