School Safety Resource Officer
The Bridgewater School Safety Resource Officer (SSRO) aims to build a trusting relationship between the police and youth from grades primary to twelve, in the hopes of assisting those youth at risk of offending, and those at risk of being victimized before an opportunity presents itself. Our focus is to be pro-active rather than reactive.
The program combines education, investigation, law enforcement, counselling, crime prevention and community relations to meet the diverse needs of residents in the school community. The SSRO program’s users include students, staff, parents, the community and the Bridgewater Police.
Our target population is the youth of the town of Bridgewater in attendance at the three schools under our jurisdiction. Through partnerships with the schools, Family Services, Restorative Justice and Parent/Teacher Advisory groups we hope to be able to maximize problem solving strategies and provide early intervention to at risk children.
The student population in Bridgewater is approximately 8,241. Between students and staff, the School Liaison Program will reach about 2200 individuals, more than a quarter of the population of Bridgewater. Partnerships between parents, schools and outside agencies should help build and establish communal support for youth at risk.
The WITS Programs bring together schools, families and communities to create responsive environments that help children deal with bullying and peer conflict.
WITS has two parts: 1.
WITS Primary Program – Teaches Kindergarten to Grade 3 children to
Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help when faced with peer conflict. The acronym also provides a common language that children and the adults around them can use to talk about and respond to problems.
Halloween Night is an exciting time for the children of Bridgewater. It can also be a night of troublemaking. In October 2012, Cst. Jennifer Mason launched the town’s first Pumpkin Patrol; a program aimed at preventing vandalism and bullying on Halloween Night, more importantly, giving parents and children a sense of safety. Thirty students from Bridgewater High School and Park View Education Centre volunteered to hit the streets to act as extra eyes and ears for parents and the police and to protect young trick-or-treaters. Cst. Mason divided the town into zones and assigned the students to work in groups to patrol specific areas. Wearing easily recognizable bright orange t-shirts, the Pumpkin Patrol was a visible presence that contributed to the overall safety of Halloween night. This event was sponsored by Mark Seamone of Exit Reality.
For more information on how you can become involved or sponsor the event please feel free to contact Cst Mason at 902-298-2792
The Pumpkin Patrol is sponsored by Mark Seamone of Exit Realty and Mason’s Plumbing & Heating
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) Program provides education and support for our youth to make healthy and informed decisions when coming face to face with social pressures on drugs, alcohol, smoking and bullying. The students have an opportunity to improve personal self-esteem, self-confidence and enhance pride when facing these types of decisions.
Kids 'n' Kops
The Kids 'N' kops program is a five day mini police academy coordinated by Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Shore in partnership with the Bridgewater Police Service and Lunenburg County RCMP. There are two camps held within the summer months, one for youth 9-11 years old and 12-15 years old who are who are on the waiting list for a Big Brother or Big Sister. The Kids 'N' Kops program is designed to promote trust between law enforcement and children, foster a realistic concept of police officers, and provide children with adult role models. The Kids 'N' Kops program incorporates police related activities (such as a mock crime scene, police jeopardy, and drug and alcohol awareness) with fun activities within the community such as museum trips, go-carting, soccer, or swimming.
The emotional bonds that form over the week between the youth and officers have a positive effect on everyone involved. Officers better understand the challenges the children face in their day-to-day lives, and the youth find role models to look up to.
For more information on how you can become involved or sponsor an event, please contact BPS at 543-3567.