Good to Know: Safety and Security Information with Officer Chris Miller
Officer Chris Miller, Seneca Valley Senior High School Student Resource Officer (SRO)
Chris Miller has been a Police Officer employed by the Jackson Township Police Department for the last 13 years. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Police Academy Class #63.
IN THIS EPISODE, WE WILL REVIEW
• The role of the School Resource Officer
• What areas are covered with students regarding laws and law enforcement
• What behaviors among teens are you seeing that you would want parents to keep in mind
E52 Chris Miller
File Name: Voices E52 Chris Miller.mp3
File Length: 00:08:20
FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)
00:00:02:27 - 00:00:10:06
Introduction: Welcome to Voices, a National Award-winning podcast brought to you by the Seneca Valley School District.
00:00:11:11 - 00:00:18:14
Jeff Krakoff: This is Jeff Krakoff. We're talking with Chris Miller, a school resource officer at the Senior High School. Welcome this morning.
00:00:19:09 - 00:00:20:19
Chris Miller: Good morning, Jeff. Thanks for having me.
00:00:21:04 - 00:00:28:02
Jeff Krakoff: So, Chris, why don't you just tell us a little bit about your, your background, your education and law enforcement background?
00:00:28:22 - 00:01:11:06
Chris Miller: I grew up in a Philadelphia area, graduated K through 12 from a private school Episcopal Academy, which was in Lower Marion, currently in Newtown Square in Eastern PA, my family's from that side of the state. I moved out here went to University of Pittsburgh and ultimately got interested in criminal justice, always thinking military criminal justice background. But went the Criminal Justice route; went through Indiana University of Pennsylvania's police academy. Graduated, you know, in 2008 graduating class number 63 and then applied to various departments and got picked up by Jackson in 2008, where they actually started me off here, part-time in the school that we were called campus police officers.
00:01:11:08 - 00:01:26:08
Chris Miller: Back then, we didn't really have a investigations were for the SRO at the time, which was a single SRO. But we assisted with, you know, patrolling the schools and just with investigations early in that time. And then this is my first year as full-time school resource officer.
00:01:26:14 - 00:01:36:12
Jeff Krakoff: OK, cool. So you started in in the fall for this was your first semester. You're in the high school. Tell me a little bit about what your role was there. What do you do?
00:01:36:21 - 00:02:24:14
Chris Miller: Well, primarily it's primarily I am in charge, you know, not in charge, but, you know, in charge of safety and security of the students in the school. That's my primary function over here. As a school resource officer, I'm in full uniform. There have been studies, you know, full-uniformed officer, there are two of us on campus. One in the IHS and one here act as a deterrent for anything bad that could happen. And that's also that's prime my primary responsibility. So security of the building, security of the students, security, the staff. And then from there I would go off to it would the secondary responsibilities would be like interacting with students staff, you know, teachers and possibly getting involved in classroom classroom events down the road.
00:02:24:21 - 00:02:26:05
Chris Miller: You know, once I get situated here.
00:02:26:07 - 00:02:31:12
Jeff Krakoff: So walk me through what what's a typical day look like in the high school for you?
00:02:32:02 - 00:03:03:07
Chris Miller: Well, being any of the day I arrived here, I usually monitor the morning traffic either across the street or on campus or in the upper lot. Pick various locations. Once students get into the building, I'm usually in the lobby. And then that point, it's interacting with teachers. It's interacting with, you know, students, with the administration. If they have anything going on. I mean, I try to stay visible either in the lunchroom or the main lobbies or the hallways in between class changes. You know, it's I think it takes some time for the kids to warm up to you to start talking to you.
00:03:03:09 - 00:03:15:24
Chris Miller: But I have noticed that since I've been here, they're getting more comfortable with who I am with my face and they'll come up. There's a lot that will start interacting with me, and that's where you're going to get most of your information about, you know, anything, that might be an issue here.
00:03:16:03 - 00:03:23:00
Jeff Krakoff: All right. So yeah, it's like any kind of community policing, right? You get to know the people in the community and this school is the community.
00:03:23:02 - 00:03:28:29
Chris Miller: Well, a very overlooked. It's a very overlooked, important role in law enforcement that
00:03:30:21 - 00:03:53:18
Chris Miller: I have more of an ability to affect I think someone that might need help in this capacity as opposed to being in patrol on the road. You're in a different setting. I mean, yes, I'm a police officer in uniform, but I have a different role over here, which is more to interact with kids as opposed to being the scary police officer in a police car following me around on the road. So
00:03:54:01 - 00:03:54:16
Jeff Krakoff: Right.
00:03:54:18 - 00:03:55:03
Chris Miller: You know.
00:03:55:05 - 00:03:55:24
Jeff Krakoff: We all know that feeling.
00:03:56:01 - 00:03:56:16
Chris Miller: Yes.
00:03:56:26 - 00:04:00:05
Jeff Krakoff: So you're you're fairly new.
00:04:00:07 - 00:04:12:21
Jeff Krakoff: The district you did mention its safety security is your number one role. The other is interacting with students. Do you have any plans to actually be in classrooms and talking to students about various topics?
00:04:12:28 - 00:04:59:27
Chris Miller: I do. That's in the works. You know, discussing the safety of, you know, obviously impaired driving, safety with social media use of that, you know, which we're all familiar with and we all know how that that goes on, either Snapchat, Facebook, all those all those things. Instagram, just addressing kids to be aware, a lot of them aren't aware of things that can happen as a result of improper usage of of those apps and devices. So I mean, those are the type of areas that I think were most relevant for me to touch base with k,ids here in the school would be to address the safe driving, impaired driving drug use at an early age and safety with social media. You know, cellular devices, computers that aspects.
00:05:00:06 - 00:05:09:12
Jeff Krakoff: OK, so you've had three or four months now in your new role in the building as an SRO. What are some of the things that you're seeing and noticing?
00:05:10:20 - 00:05:42:15
Chris Miller: Well, from a safety standpoint to the building itself would be student, you know, students propping doors open to me and running out to their car. We had an issue with that. It was addressed, but it still happens. It's not as frequent, but then leaving a building for a couple of minutes and propping the door open. It opens. It opens a door that's not monitored by security. So I mean, there's a proper way to go into the building. It's through the main entrance. It doesn't matter if you're a visitor, a parent, student, you know you're supposed to go through the front entrance and check in.
00:05:42:26 - 00:05:49:12
Chris Miller: It's really for the safety of the building, so we know who's coming in and coming out. So that's one I've noticed, you know, and the other aspect would be.
00:05:51:09 - 00:05:59:26
Chris Miller: The social media issues that we could have come across would be, you know, being teenagers in school. You know, this is something that it's hard to address, but it's it's an issue.
00:06:00:16 - 00:06:13:02
Jeff Krakoff: OK, so we're talking about what you address with students. If you could have a conversation with parents. What are what are some things that you'd like to share with them in particular about teenagers and high school students?
00:06:13:15 - 00:06:30:28
Chris Miller: Well, again, I'm new to this role. I don't currently have any teenagers, so I will at some point a few years down the road. But I don't know how many parents really, really monitor children's act, their child's activity on their mobile devices.
00:06:32:18 - 00:07:05:15
Chris Miller: There are dangers to students long term from improper use of said devices or we're seeing it everywhere now, everyone's aware of it. And I would just caution parents to have chats with your kids. What do you use? What apps are you using? Are you using Snapchat? Instagram? Who are you talking to? What are you posting? A lot of people and these kids, you know, when you send something out online, it is there forever, whether you want it to be or not, if it's on Snapchat. It can be screenshot and sent everywhere, so I would just I probably.
00:07:06:24 - 00:07:42:15
Chris Miller: Very repetitive it I'm sure parents hear it a lot, you know, the dangers of social media, it's just I can't stress that enough. The improper use of those of those things in kids just being, you know uneducated on them or just, you know, oblivious to the repercussions for posting things that are that are, you know, maybe controversial or could have a negative impact on the kid for years to come. So I would caution parents to really have a chat. Know what your kids are looking at. Know what their using. You know who they're talking to in this age, it's very difficult to keep on top of it.
00:07:42:17 - 00:07:46:25
Chris Miller: You know, I'm I'm just learning day to day. I just try to keep my head above water. That's really about it.
00:07:46:27 - 00:08:14:10
Jeff Krakoff: Right. So I imagine it's not only dangerous due to social media, but especially for seniors and juniors, those looking to applying at colleges or other career options. These or jobs after high school, again, like you said, these things live on in the internet forever. They can come back to haunt you. Good, good stuff. Well, again, I appreciate you being on with us. That was Chris Miller, school resource officer at the High Schol. You have a great rest of your day.
00:08:14:20 - 00:08:15:18
Chris Miller: Thank you, Jeff. Have a good day.
00:08:15:25 - 00:08:16:17
Jeff Krakoff: All right. See you.