Police Officer Jared Reinfeld is the New School Resource Officer for Wenatchee School District. Reinfeld replaces Officer Brian Miller, who accept a promotion in the police department after two years as SRO. We sat down with Offier Reinfeld and asked him some questions. Here's what he had to say.
Q. Tell us about your personal history.
Officer Reinfeld: I grew up in Wenatchee, born here along with three older brothers. I attended the Wenatchee School District throughout my entire school career. I started at Washington Elementary School, went to Orchard Middle School, and then on to Wenatchee High School, graduating in 1996. I enlisted in the Marines after high school. After returning to Wenatchee I actually worked a one year grant position at Wenatchee High School. This position was a “Campus Security” role. Also, shortly after I returned to Wenatchee I married my wife Jill, who's a teacher in the Wenatchee school district. We have two boys.
Q. When did you become involved in law enforcement?
Officer Reinfeld: To start my law enforcement career I became a reserve police officer. I went through the Reserve Academy here in Wenatchee and was a reserve for almost four years on a volunteer basis. I worked at the jail here, as a jailer, and then got hired by the King County Sheriff’s Office. I was there for three years. This September will be 12 years for me with the Wenatchee Police Department as a patrol officer.
Q. What made you decided to become a School Resource Officer (SRO) for the school district?
Officer Reinfeld: It goes way back to when I was at Wenatchee High School and they had the D.A.R.E. program with Officer Keith Sorenson. He’s a great guy. He was firm but fair with the kids and just a great example and role model. In my senior year I talked to him about wanting to be a police officer and he wrote me a message in my high school year-book about it, inviting me to come back and see him. I always had that image of the police in my head, of a positive role model.
Q. What are your goals as a School Resource Officer?
Officer Reinfeld: I want to be a positive role model for kids in the schools. I want kids to be able to trust me and also, on the other side, be a positive image for the public towards police. I think the big thing is starting young with the kids, to show them that police are okay—that we're good people
Q. What’s the job of a School Resource Officer?
Officer Reinfeld: The primary goal is safety of the students and staff. I’ll spend a lot of time at the high school, because that’s the largest amount of kids in one place, but I’ll be in all the schools. Primarily, I'm there for the safety of the kids. If something happens, I'm there to stop it. I also have to be an enforcer of laws. I do have discretion to enforce the law, and I will use that discretion, but there are times when you don't really have a choice. I don't want to be seen as just the authority figure. That's not my goal. I want an in between stance—firm but fair.
Q. How will you spend your time?
Officer Reinfeld: I want to be in the schools during the day, but there are events and sporting events that I really think that I should be there for and in a supportive role to the schools. I want to be available for questions from the parents. I know there's tons of PTSA meetings out there. I would like to be invited to some meetings in case parents or the public have questions.
Q. Any final thoughts?
Officer Reinfeld: My wife and I have two boys who are in the school district, in first and second grade. It's kind of nice because they're attending Washington School. And my wife teaches at Washington now and taught at Orchard before, so both schools that I attended. lt's fun to think that I can come back and go full circle and be right back there where I was over 20 years ago.
WENATCHEE LEARNS / Strategy One: Design the personalized learning system of the future. / Key Objective: More positive and safe learning environment