New Officers Serve and Protect in South Milwaukee

New School Resource Officers Serve and Protect in South Milwaukee

It takes a certain type of person to work with children – especially when you are a police officer. This school year, the District was assigned two new school resource officers by the South Milwaukee Police Department. They are officers Adam Harnen and Jakob Horsley. 

Horsley, a South Milwaukee alum, is new to the profession – he was sworn into duty in January, while Harnen has been an officer for three and a half years. Both received specialized training to work in schools. 

“We’re here to keep students and the school community safe,” Harnen said. “But I want to make a difference with kids and be a role model for kids.” 

Horsley agreed. 

“I became an SRO in an effort to build a positive relationship with my students and their families while maintaining a safe learning environment. It’s a chance to interact with law enforcement in ways other than traffic enforcement and emergency situations.” 

Harnen works at the Middle School, Blakewood and E.W. Luther elementary schools and Divine Mercy Catholic School. Horsley works in the High School, Rawson and Lakeview elementary schools and Zion School and Early Learning Center.

Both officers said the experience serving in schools is pretty much what they expected. 

“Training and speaking with previous SROs helped guide my mindset from the first day of school forward,” Horsley said. 

“Having these officers here is extremely valuable,” said Bill Wesley, district Safety Manager. “Having an officer who is familiar with the building, with the staff and with the students is critical in an emergency. More broadly speaking, for the students to see a friendly face in uniform that they can interact with might give them perspective when they see police in the community or have an interaction with in the future.”

For William Jessup, chief of the South Milwaukee Police Department, the officers are part of the cross-agency school safety team. 

“They help to promote a safe, supportive and peaceful school environment while developing positive relationships with students, educators, and parents,” he said. “The work of our educators and staff is vitally important to the overall health of our community and we are privileged to be included as part of the District team.” 

For Officer Horsley, an alumnus whose graduation ceremony wasn’t all that long ago, it’s been a homecoming. 

“Many teachers still remember me from being in school and I met the children of a friend of mine that I have not spoken to in a while. It’s been great to be back.”