Resource officers played a critical role at two wisconsin schools this week.
One officer in waukesha shot a student after they showed what was later determined to be a pellet gun.
And then an s-r-o shot a 16- year-old student after the teen stabbed him at an oshkosh high school.
News 8's mal meyer joins us to explain how these officers do much more than respond to emergencies.
Many area school districts have at least one school resource officer... including la crosse, onalaska and sparta to name a few.
While the west salem school district has only had one part-time officer... this will soon become a full time position in part because of the many benefits this role has for the district.
A west salem police officer has served as a part time school resource officer since the 90's.
Gunderson: "i think 20 years ago, when we first started it was a very tense notion of, why would you have a police officer in a school?'" officer kyle holzhausen says it's sad that families and students have to worry about incidents like the ones in waukesha, oshkosh and other parts of the country.
Holzhausen:"but it is reality, and it is something that we are making a point here at the school district to make sure that our school district is safe."
Staff have made a number of improvements to ensure safety across its campus.
But a school resource officer doesn't just respond in emergencies, his job is to connect with students too.
Holzhausen: "i want to build that positive relationship and know that they can trust me and confide in me and come to me if there's any problems."
Over the last few years, the district has been working with the village to make the position full time.
It committed additional funding to make that possible starting in january.
Gunderson: part of a part time arrangement means that his other duties during the day are taking them away."
Holzhausen hopes that he'll also be able to do other tasks at the elementary, middle and high school.
Holzhausen: "whether that's playing with them at pe, recess with the younger kids, or just engaging the students at lunch time or even teaching in classroom about law enforcement."
Gunderson: ""having police pressence is a good thing in terms of just being able to manage traffic but also the security and safety of all our students."
With this full time arrangement, the officer will be able to spend eight hours a day on west salem's campus.
During the summer, the superintendent says holzhausen will continue his work for the police department.
Some school districts have more than just one officer.
That includes the la crosse school district... which has an officer at each of the high schools