East welcomes a new SRO to the school


Photo by McKenzie Gandy

Sgt. Howard Bank assists sophomore Meadoe Anderson with her homework assignment. Banks became the new SRO at East after Officer Anthony Orsi left, and the position gives him many opportunities to interact and build relationships with students.

School resource officers are law enforcement officers who are responsible for the safety and crime prevention in schools. Sgt. Howard Banks became the new SRO after Officer Anthony Orsi moved on to a different profession in Millard. Banks was a former Bellevue East  student before he started his police career.

“I graduated from here years ago and coached football here and then I came to be a school resource officer here from 2008 to 2012,” Bank said. “Then I got promoted and had to go back to nights to supervise.”

After Orsi left East, a new SRO had to fill the position, but with the police department down 15 to 18 officers, Banks said he had to fill the position.

Dean Mary Trowbridge warmly welcomed Banks back into the Bellevue East family. Given that Banks was enrolled at East a long time ago, he formed ties with former instructors which makes transitioning as the SRO smoother.

“Officer Banks was actually a student of mine way back in the day, so I love having Officer Banks, and he was here as an SRO before so he has super good relationships with students which makes him the best of the best,” Trowbridge said.

With having a job, there are parts of the work that people enjoy. Sgt. Howard Banks briefly explained his favorite part about being an SRO at Bellevue East, even in the past.

“I love interacting with the kids, since I have to do double duty I can not do as much as I would like to, but there would be times I would get out and run passes, come to classrooms, and take part in the pep rallies just so I could interact with the kids,” Banks said.

A SRO is a person who takes on the responsibility of protecting a school environment in case anything happens. Dean John Siegel is another dean alongside Trowbridge who understands how important a SRO is to the schools every day.

“The School Resource Officer provides extra security within the school and is a great resource of information for students and families,” Siegel said.

Banks has his own plan to make sure East improves over time, from handling violence in schools, to the improving students’grades and their futures. He says that the main priority for his plan includes keping everyone in the building safe.

“Eventually, the plan is going to be to select another School Resource Officer for the school, but I will more than likely be here for the rest of the year, possibly summer and next year,” Banks said. “My overall plan for just the kids in general is that they are safe and the staff is safe and that we can hopefully reduce the number of fights and to see the graduation rate increase.”