By David Fleet
Goodrich- Deputy Casey Seeley recalls his first home varsity football game as a School Resource Officer.
“I remember the response from students—they greeted me and many called me by name,” he said. “I had worked plenty of football games as a deputy before that, but not as an SRO. It was a good start.”
It’s been just about one year since school board and Atlas Township Board of Trustees moved forward and hired the districts first school resource officer. Since that time, Seeley has striven to be a part of the students school life culture each day.
In March 2019, the school board of trustees voted 7-0 to join in a contract with Atlas Township and the Genesee County Sheriff Office for a school resource officer. The first for the district. Then on March 11, interviews for a school resource officer were conducted and GCS Atlas Township Deputy Casey Seeley was selected. He began April 8 at a cost of $123, 341 of which the school will be responsible for 70 percent or $88,101 for a 21 month period of time.
Seeley, an 18 year veteran with the Genesee County Sheriff Office, has served more than eight years in Atlas Township. He is a native the Caseville Area and a 1997 Atherton High School graduate.
On Jan. 27, Seeley reviewed his first year in the school district with a report to the school board. “I had a good insight coming into the schools,” said Seeley. “But, I certainly did not know everything about the district. The administration had known me before I arrived and I knew some of the students.”
So, the first day I walked in the school I was not a new face to many of them. It’s about building those relationship with students where they see me everyday.”
Seeley often visits classrooms during the school day.
“There are a lot ways to educate students,” said Seeley. “It’s about prevention through education. If I can get into the classrooms and speak to the students in smaller numbers it’s way more effective. The communication is much better.”
For example, Seeley said vaping is a national problem among youth. He presented the law, and the negative health effects to students in a classroom setting.
“I was upfront with the kids about the dangers of vaping,” he said. “They learn and I learned a lot from their feedback. I try to put the student in the best position to make the best choice.”
From drivers education classes to distracted driving to what to do on a traffic stop, Seeley has responded to a variety of questions and concerns. For many of the younger students conversations regarding strangers and threats often dominate the conversation.
“School safety, emergency preparedness and drills are always a priority with students,” he said.
“We are always working to improve the safety in schools,” he said.