Heather Vogel is a new face this semester at West Intermediate School and Richard Warren Middle School.
But, she's not a student or teacher.
Vogel, 27, is a member of the Leavenworth Police Department, and she now works in the two schools as a school resource officer.
"I am excited to be in the schools," she said.
Heather Vogel is a new face this semester at West Intermediate School and Richard Warren Middle School. But, she's not a student or teacher. Vogel, 27, is a member of the Leavenworth Police Department, and she now works in the two schools as a school resource officer. "I am excited to be in the schools," she said. WIS houses fifth and sixth grades for the Leavenworth school district. Warren is home to grades seven and eight in the Leavenworth district. As a school resource officer, Vogel is focused on safety and security. She also wants to build trusting relationships between police and students. She also plans to provide presentations to students about issues such as drug and alcohol abuse. Vogel said she wants children to know they don't have to fit into a stereotypical mold. She said they can make up their own minds and make good decisions. "They don't always have to do what everybody else is doing," she said. Vogel hopes to also provide presentations to school staff on topics such as school safety. Leavenworth High School has had a school resource officer for about 10 years, and other schools in Leavenworth County also have school resource officers. But, the school resource officer position is something new at Warren Middle School and WIS. Vogel's position was created with help from a U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services grant. The grant will provide $125,000 in federal funding during the next three years. Maj. Dan Nicodemus, Leavenworth Police Department deputy chief, said the grant will provide the majority of funding for the position. The school district is providing about $42,000 in matching funds during the life of the grant. Nicodemus said the Police Department and school district are required to continue the school resource officer position for at least one year after the grant expires. For the fourth year of the school resource officer, the school district will provide 75 percent of the funding and the Police Department will pay the remaining 25 percent. Nicodemus said this mirrors the arrangement the district and Police Department have for funding of the school resource officer at the high school. Nicodemus said the new school resource officer position is important because "you have an officer on scene in case anything happens." But, he said the education Vogel will provide to students is also important. Vogel has been with the Police Department for about 4.5 years. She was a patrol officer before taking on her new duties as school resource officer. "I grew up in Leavenworth," she said. She attended classes in the WIS building as a middle school student. Vogel attended school resource officer training last week in Johnson County. Monday was her first day in the new job. She began the week at Warren. Tuesday was her first day at West. "My time is divided between both schools," she said.