Arkansas City High School will have a brand-new School Resource Officer (SRO) this fall.
Arkansas City Police Department Officer Matt Mayo has prepared for his new role throughout the summer.
“So far, I’ve been involved with planning DARE Camp this summer, but I’m really looking forward to getting in the high school and getting to know the kids,” he said in an interview Aug. 2.
Last month, Mayo graduated from the DARE officer training course. This training certifies him to teach the DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) curriculum to every student from grade school through high school.
“It was a rough two weeks, but well worth it!” Mayo posted on Facebook after he completed the training.
“I learned a lot and hope to learn even more with this new journey! Really looking forward to it.”
in addition to teaching DARE, he also be will in the school from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day for support.
Mayo: Approachable SRO
Mayo said he is looking forward to making connections with young adults and kids, and making an impact on them.
“I want to be the SRO no one in the schools is afraid to talk to,” he said.
He will teach DARE at Adams, C-4, IXL and Jefferson elementary schools.
This won’t be Mayo’s first interaction with grade school-aged students, as he has been involved in other school-based programs before.
One of them, the Adopt-a-School program, was created as a cooperative initiative to increase relations between the police and elementary schools. It is a direct result of the success of the police department’s Cops in Schools lunch visits, which are in their third year of existence.
“I always loved doing Adopt-a-School and Cops in Schools. They are both awesome programs,” Mayo said.
“But I’ll get to spend more time in the elementary schools while teaching DARE, and get to know those kids better while trying to instruct them on positive behaviors and decision making.”
The SRO position also will put Mayo in touch with teenage students. “As far as the high school, I’m looking forward to dealing with the older students, because in the past, I’ve always dealt with the younger ones,” he said.
“They are at the age where they are about to enter adulthood, where their decisions could be a greater impact to their lives. I hope to be another positive role model they can turn to.”
Return to law enforcement
Mayo came to ACPD after a stint as a loss prevention officer at the local Walmart Supercenter.
“I actually started with the (Kansas Department of Corrections) at age 19,” he said.
“At 21, I went and worked for the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office for five years.”
After Mayo spent some time outside of law enforcement, his wife urged him to go back into the profession.
“(She) kept telling me that I needed to get back into it because of the passion she saw from me when I talked about it,” he said.
At that point, Mayo had contact with many of the ACPD officers.
“I had heard great things about Chief (Dan) Ward, so I decided that was the department I wanted to work at,” he said.
“The department is very dedicated to community involvement and trying to make a difference in the community, and I love that about ACPD.”
Students can friend Mayo on Facebook on his official SRO account, which can be found at www.facebook.com/sromatt.mayo.1.