Officer Miller serves as School Resource Officer

Officer+Miller+stands+in+front+of+the+PASD%27s+digital+sign%2C+which+reads%2C+%22Welcome+to+Punxsutawney+Area+High+School+and+Elementary+School%22.

Kevin Kurtz Jr.

Officer Miller stands in front of the PASD’s digital sign, which reads, “Welcome to Punxsutawney Area High School and Elementary School”.

At the start of the year, our school hired Ryan Miller, Patrolman First Class, as the new school resource officer. However, the position has nothing to do with managing resources.

“One of my primary responsibilities at the high school is to provide a safe learning environment [for] the students, teachers, and staff,” Miller said. “As a school resource officer, I… have three primary roles: being an educator or guest lecturer, an informal counselor or a mentor, and a law enforcement officer.”

He stated that he feels that his presence and daily patrols around the campus, along with his duties as a security guard, help make the school safer and more secure.

“Having an officer assigned directly on campus, I believe, helps minimize certain offenses in and around the school areas,” Miller said, “and it also reduces the need for the school to call for emergency services since I’m already present.”

Miller said he interacts with, gets to know, and helps students and the “youth in our community.” He also stands at the main doors every morning as the students walk into school, greeting them on their arrival.

Miller said, “I like how some of the students are comfortable enough to come up to me, ask me how I’m doing, and just have that kind of positive interaction… I think it’s one of the greatest things to be able to be that bridge between the police department and our community’s youth.”

Having at least 40 hours of specialized training in this area and wanting to develop positive relationships with young people, he said, are the two key things that a police officer needs to have to become a school resource officer. He also works and collaborates with the administration on “whatever issues arise throughout the day.”

With the experience and training necessary, Miller applied for the school resource officer opening. He said, “It was a position that I volunteered for, and I feel blessed to be in this position.”