Omaha.com 06-23-16

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Unusual Training Session Aims To Help School Resource Officers Understand What’s Going On In Teens’ Brains

Students who went to Millard North High School in the last decade probably were stopped in the halls by Officer John Martinez. He would ask about their weekends, the people they were dating or their extracurricular activities.

Building that kind of rapport, Martinez said, is a vital skill for school resource officers and often leads students to open up about their problems.

Students have bad days like anyone else, he said. That’s when an existing relationship can help.

“It allows me to step in and at least have a chance to talk to a kid one on one and get them to calm down, let them vent to me,” he said.

Martinez was one of about 35 school resource officers—police assigned to high schools—who attended “Policing the Teen Brain in Schools” last week at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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