Department of Public Safety officers are once again on patrol at Marianas High School to make sure peace and order is maintained on the island’s most populous campus. MHS has a current student population of 1,668 this school year, according to vice principal Bobby James A. Cruz.
Cruz said keeping the school grounds secure and safe is part of their job as educators. “These are our children, so we have security personnel at the gates to monitor and see who is coming in and out of the campus.
“We have the support staff to make sure the smooth flow of traffic at the drop off area. Then we have police officers who are also on campus, in partnership with DPS,” added Cruz.
He said that building a better relationship between the students and the police officers is a community-based framework. “Police officers are a part of this community. Having these police officers in school, to be able to talk to kids on a daily basis, is to build positive rapport.”
Cruz added that the presence of police officers had had a positive feedback. “Their presence mitigates a lot of issues. And I think that it restores public trust with our police officers. The program has been great and we received positive feedback from parents and students.”
“The message that we want to send is we don’t want to create fear. We have events where there are large crowds and there are always police officers there to maintain peace and order. We have a large crowd in our campus every single day.”
He said having the presence of police officers ensure that peace and order is maintained. “And should anything occur, either internally or externally, we have our police officers there who are well trained and ready to help us manage the situation.”
“Our goal is student safety and having them—police officers and security personnel—helps us accomplish the task. The whole year, they will be on campus everyday with us,” said Cruz.
Cruz said the DPS has always been a strong partner of MHS. “DPS have been our partner for many years now. They have assisted us every school year.”
“When we need assistance, we reach out to DPS. There are situations that call for their involvement,” Cruz added. “You often see them talking with the principal, the staff, or the students.”