Mesa Police launches officer 'Adopt a School' initiative

Emerson Elementary Mesa
Posted at 9:56 AM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 07:46:11-04

MESA, AZ — Thursday was back to school for students and teachers at Mesa Public Schools.

This year, they can expect to see more officers from the Mesa Police Department stopping by the elementary schools.

It's part of a new initiative called the "Officer Adopt-A-School Program."

Patrol officers and detectives will periodically visit elementary schools in their assigned areas. The program aims to deter violence and criminal activity while strengthening the relationship between Mesa Police, the schools, the students and their families.

The elementary schools in the district do not have school resource officers, so the hope is to also give an added presence of safety, especially in the wake of the Uvalde shooting.

"This was just an opportunity to ensure that we can set parents at ease," said Commander Stephanie Derivan. "Most of us are parents and we have kids in the schools as well, and we want our kids to feel safe being there."

Some parents ABC15 spoke to said they were happy to see the officers on campus at Emerson Elementary when they dropped off their students for the first day.

"I think that it's very prudent. I think it's necessary," said Jerell Walker, a father to two Emerson Elementary students. "I implore them to enforce this in all schools if they can."