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MSP graduates class of officers from school liaison training program

TEAMS school photo February, 2024
Michigan State Police
TEAMS school photo February, 2024

The program called “TEAM” focuses on building relationships and educating students to stop trouble before it starts

TEAM is an acronym for Teaching, Educating and Mentoring. Run by the Michigan State Police, it teaches officers a curriculum they will in turn teach in schools on how children can protect themselves from crime.

“From kindergarteners: 911 how to dial it and why to use it, to high schoolers learning that dating is no place for violence. We deal with all the bullying, all the social media, all kinds of topics.”

Sgt. Martin Miller runs the TEAM program and says its constantly being updated to address new aspects of topics such as vaping and cyber-bullying. Flexibility is key. Officers can focus on just one topic if its an issue in an individual classroom or school.

“Life in Calumet is probably a whole lot different than in Detroit so you run into different problems or different concerns.”

Deputy Everardo Pedroza Jr. is a school resource officer for the West Ottawa Public Schools. He just finished the program. For him, the biggest benefit was learning how to speak specifically to students.

“To think its OK to get out of my comfort level, its ok to joke around, its ok to laugh with those students, to hand stickers out. Its as simple as giving a student a hug who’s going through a really, really bad time.”

Pedroza looks forward to engaging with students in a new way, building bonds, and being a role model they can talk to.

“TEAM school has definitely switched the gears on my way of thinking and it’s all positive.”

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