SRO SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Tarvin
Law Enforcement Agency:
Saline County Sheriff’s Office
How long have you worked in law enforcement?
15 years. I started my career in law enforcement as a Military Police Officer in the US Army. I started my civilian law enforcement career with the Benton Police Department. I enjoyed being a Detective as well as a Crisis Negotiator while there. I currently work with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office as an SRO at the Bauxite School District.
Why did you become an SRO?
I became an SRO because I wanted to be a positive role model for children. They need to know they can trust law enforcement and have fun with us. We need to be in the school setting to have a positive impact on children and their parents. These relationships need to be built on both levels. Unfortunately, we live in a time where kids and parents are scared to go to school. We need to change this way of thinking. If I am at school, my kids know I am there to keep them safe. I want to make a difference in their lives.
What school/school district do you currently serve?
I serve at the Bauxite School District—Pine Haven Elementary, Bauxite Middle School and Bauxite High School.
What do you find most challenging about working on a school campus?
How many people you have to report to.
What do find most rewarding about working on a school campus?
The relationships you build. The ones with the kids are absolutely amazing. When you see them succeed, you have so much pride. You cheer with them. You also cry with them. You know what is going on in their lives and you try to be their encourager but also hold them accountable for their actions. The relationships you build with the staff is also just as great. I look forward to coming to work every day. Some say, “If you have a job you love it’s not work.” I tend to agree!
What has surprised you the most about working with kids?
What has surprised me most about working with kids is how many need someone to just take time to listen and understand what’s going on in their world. And kids are paying attention!
Are there any programs/techniques that you feel have been helpful and effective in creating a safe learning environment?
Be visible. Be approachable. Help wherever you can. I go in classrooms, hallways when the bell rings, the lunchroom at lunch time, the parking lots before and after school, and I attend as many extracurricular activities as I can.
What advice would you give to a first-year SRO?
What do you do when you aren't working?
I really like to run 5K, 10K and half marathons and play with my dog Maverick.
If you weren't a police officer, what would you be doing instead?
I would be a Nurse.