SEPTEMBER 1, 1997
Bothell High School Resource Officer Ken Seuberlich (seated) joined Officer Jeff Hanna in one of two new portables provided by the Northshore School District for police training, coursework and outreach.
Andrew Walgamott, staff photo
Bothell Cops find a home at BHS
by Andrew Walgamott
BOTHELL--Police officers will have a place to swap stories and maybe even share a few doughnuts with students at Bothell High School this year. The Northshore School District is providing the Bothell Police Department with two side-by-side portables at the high school, one for School Resource Officer Ken Seuberlich to work out of and the other to serve as a classroom.
Previously SROs didn't have a place of their own at the high school. The portable will provide Seuberlich a place to train students, faculty and parents in crime prevention, drug and alcohol awareness and prevention of school violence as well as a desk to complete reports, paperwork, and speak to students in private. Next door will be the home of the Criminal Justice 101 class, formerly held at the Bothell Police Station.
Seuberlich, who's been Bothell High's SRO for the past year-and-a-half, is increasing his hours there from four to eight this year as well.
The expansion of hours and facility will give Seuberlich a chance to build his rapport with students. Likening himself to an information officer, Seuberlich says 95 percent of his job is interacting with students, explaining why they got a speeding ticket, or unlocking their car door.
Seuberlich also directs at-risk students to resources in their times of need, and makes the occasional arrest. He says the decision to increase his hours is not correlated with a rise in crime at Bothell High, rather it's an increase in service. Principal Al Haynes said the SRO program gives his school a proactive approach to crime where other institutions have had to react with guards and metal detectors.
Seuberlich agreed. "I really see the school district here being foresighted enough to put preventative measures in place," he said. Seuberlich is also the former Criminal Justice 101 teacher. "In my opinion, we have kids out there who will make great cops," he said. This year the class will be taught by Jeff Hanna, who is an SRO at Canyon Park and Skyview middle schools.
Open to all Northshore high schoolers, the course is held two hours each day and is a vocational training class. Hanna says he's planning field trips, and scheduling guest lectures from the DEA and King County Prosecutor's Office for the class. "We'll try to keep it interesting," Hanna says.
Bothell, Woodinville and King County staff Northshore's senior and junior highs with SROs. The program began 1994 and has evolved into a three-fold mission for the officer, not only including roles as law enforcer but counselor and educator as well.