Students at one Central Coast high school are learning more about a safety resource on campus with the assignment of a new school resource deputy by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
“As a school resource deputy my job is to build relationships with the children, the kids at the school, the students”, said Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy Dennis Thomas who is the new School Resource Deputy at Cabrillo High School in Vandenberg Village.
Deputy Thomas says he’s wanted the SRD assignment at Cabrillo High School for a long time.
“I think the students are our future and I’d like to do everything I can to help influence, mold them and just be a positive influence on them”, Deputy Thomas said, “having three kids that went through this school, I’m vested in the school and I’m vested in this community and I want the best for it.”
With heightened concern about school safety, Deputy Thomas, an 18 year veteran of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, says he knows his role on campus should any situation arise.
“My job is to go to the source of the problem, so that will be what I’ll do”, Deputy Thomas said, “if a situation presents itself and I’m campus my job will be to go to that source of that incident that is occurring and do my best to put a stop to it or intervene in whatever way I have to.”
Having a dedicated school resource deputy on campus is reassuring for faculty and staff at Cabrillo High School.
“We often have students that may have some concerns about safety, they’re able to talk with him and talk with us”, said Cabrillo High Principal Isidro Carrasco, “he just brings a whole different element of the law enforcement side and the wisdom, the experience, the knowledge that he has that we as school administrators don’t have is a huge benefit.”
Students know they have someone they can turn to in time of need or emergency and in confidence.
“It’s pretty important because you never know when something can happen on campus”, said Cabrillo High senior Bryce Kintschy, “so it’s kind of helpful to have somebody close by, you know, we don’t have to wait for people to show up.”
Deputy Thomas is also School Resource Deputy at nearby Maple Continuation High School in Vandenberg Village.