To enhance its safety and security measures, Fayetteville-Manlius School District recently expanded its School Information Resource Officer (SIRO) program to include a third member.
In July, Town of Manlius Police Department Officer Beth Brainard started serving the district full-time through an inter-government agreement between the municipality and F-M. She joins the district’s existing SIROs, Damien Golden and John Paul, in improving school safety and providing education and support to students and staff members.
“They’re more than just police officers,” F-M Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “The SIROs are here to build positive relationships with students and help them succeed academically and in life.”
The district set aside funds for a third school resource officer in its 2018-19 school year budget, which voters approved in May. F-M implemented the program with one officer in 2012 and expanded it to two officers in 2017.
Each of the officers spends time with students and staff at the district’s six school buildings offering advice, support and direction on a variety of topics, including drug abuse, violence, bullying and theft. The SIROs also participate in each school’s safety drills and review district safety and security plans.
A 20-year law enforcement veteran, F-M’s newest SIRO primarily serves Enders Road Elementary and Eagle Hill Middle schools. She splits her time between both of the buildings and has an office at Eagle Hill.
Officer Brainard has worked within Town of Manlius PD as an Explorer Post Advisor, community relations liaison, juvenile officer, and accident investigation technician. She also spent nine years as East Syracuse-Minoa School District’s school resource officer.
“I really enjoy being part of the school community,” Officer Brainard said. “My goal for this year is to get to know students and their families and learn the rhythms of each school.”
Officer Brainard said she spent the first two months of school seeking out opportunities to interact with students. Recently, she presented Halloween safety tips to Enders students and attended the school’s annual fall festival. At Eagle Hill, she often joins students for lunch and interacts with them during recess.
“The more familiar students are with me, the more likely they’ll reach out to me,” she said. “I want them to see me as somebody that they can trust if they need to discuss something important.”
Fayetteville-Manlius School Information Resource Officer Beth Brainard talks to a group of Eagle Hill Middle School fifth-grade students during a recent lunch period.