Photos Courtesy of Rome Police Department and Rome City Schools
Safety and security of all Rome City Schools’ students and faculty is a priority. Rome City Schools and the Rome Police Department have partnered since 1998 to ensure student and faculty safety while at school and in the community during school functions. This includes employing three resource officers who are assigned to Rome High, Rome Middle and Rome Transitional Academy on a full-time basis, patrolling the campus during regular school hours, as well as during any extracurricular activities that take place after hours.
Officers who take guard at their respective schools are listed below:
-Police First Class (PFC) Ashley Morris ensures security at the Rome Transitional Academy.
-PFC Sterling Haney ensures security at Rome Middle School.
-PFC Joe Cardona ensures security at Rome High School.
Rome High School Principal, Dr. Eric Holland describes Police First Class Officer Joe Cardona’s role at RHS as a comprehensive one. “Officer Cardona’s number one job here is school safety. He makes sure all faculty, staff and students are safe by continuously walking the halls, checking restrooms, checking doors, etc.” said Dr. Holland.
“More importantly, Officer Cardona works to build relationships with everyone around the school. He serves on our leadership team, and takes the time to meet with us every Friday after school to discuss the upcoming week and how we all can do things better to improve safety and security at RHS,” explained Dr. Holland. “He also works as a mentor to our students. I have witnessed firsthand him showing students how to tie a neck tie,” said Dr. Holland.
Dr. Holland ended his statement by bragging on Officer Cardona. “I’ve been doing this for 19 years and he is the best SRO (School Resource Officer) ever. Officer Cardona is just an awesome guy who makes our school special. He rocks!”
Chief of Police, Denise McKinney, talks further about this partnership and how important it is to the City of Rome. “Having this partnership is not only a benefit to the respective school and police department, but to the citizens who attend these schools, as well as their parents. We have enjoyed working with Rome City Schools and we are committed to continuing to foster this relationship for years to come,” said Chief McKinney.
“Our officers can also serve their schools as instructors who work in conjunction with principals and assistant principals, as their service is sort of a two-fold. Being there for students in more ways that just the security is what our officers provide while working at the schools,” explained Chief McKinney.
Rome Transitional Academy and Phoenix Learning Center Principal, Jennifer Perkins agreed with Chief McKinney about the importance of her school’s security and well-being. “School safety is the top priority here at RTA. Having an on-duty resource officer during school hours is just an added measure of safety for everyone including parents, faculty and staff and most importantly, our students,” explained Perkins. “It is also a great feeling for our parents to know their kids are safe when they are here to learn.”
When meeting to discuss the intentions of resource officers on campus, Perkins and staff spoke with PFC Morris on July 30th. “We discussed the best ways to help everyone, students and staff, feel safe while attending school. Officer Morris continually walks around campus to assure safety at all times, while staying visible to everyone as well. Her presence is known, which is important for everyone’s piece of mind,” said Perkins.
Rome City Schools appreciates this partnership with the Rome Police Department and is thankful for the continued support.