September 13, 2022 | A cup of coffee, a quick lunch, or maybe even a simple bottle of water – alone, these items are not much, but in Lorain City Schools, they speak volumes, telling local law enforcement that they are welcome in all schools.
This school year, using federal grant funds set aside for wellness, district officials are opening school cafeterias to law enforcement guests who can spend time with Lorain Schools students while enjoying a complimentary lunch. The new initiative is not one with safety in mind but rather relationship building with students who will have the opportunity to interact with officers in the most familiar settings they know – their schools.
Lorain City Schools and the Lorain Police Department have a strong ongoing relationship as four Lorain officers work inside Lorain schools.
This includes the district’s Director of Safety and Security Reuben Figueroa, a sworn part-time Lorain officer, and School Resource Officers Miguel Baez, Nick Gerace, and Eric Layfield.
Figueroa said relationship building is at the foundation of the district’s safety plan.
Such initiatives also align with the district’s strategic plan for cultivating a healthy culture. Reaching goals for student success cannot happen without the solid and consistent involvement of all in the community.
Lorain police Chief Jim McCann said the kind gesture is another example of the strong partnership between Lorain Police and Lorain Schools.
“On behalf of the Lorain Police Department, I would like to thank the Lorain City Schools for the hospitality they have shown and continue to show to our Lorain Police Officers,” Chief McCann shared. “This is about so much more than coffee and lunch; it is also about the opportunity to normalize friendly encounters from which lasting, trusting relationships can grow. It is because of encounters facilitated by partnerships such as this that we can grow together and promote success for everyone involved.”