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New police officer to join Gering schools
June 03, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Henry Moreno, former School Resource Officer

Beginning this fall, the Gering Schools will have a new School Resource Officer (SRO) to assist with issues of law violations and other help as needed.

This fall, Shawn West, a Gering officer since 2013, will take over the position in the Gering schools. Prior to joining the Gering department, he had also worked in Scottsbluff.

The SRO position is filled by the Gering Police Department from its officer staff, with input from the school district.

Henry Moreno, who has been Gering’s SRO since the program was implemented in 2014, is returning full time to his investigation duties in the police department.

“Shawn will be an excellent replacement for Henry,” said Gering Police Chief George Holthus. “He’s worked with kids before and had a keen interest in the position. With his work ethic and personality, we thought he’d be a good representative for us in the schools.”

Holthus said Moreno had approached them last December about needing a change of schedule. The department had been planning for a new SRO since then. There were several staff members who expressed interest in the position before West was chosen.

The SRO position is a full-time police officer assigned to duty in the schools for nine months of the year. That person assists with a variety of violations including truancy, bullying, defiance, threats, physical assaults, possession of drugs or alcohol, possession of weapons, vandalism, accidents and traffic violations on school property.

The SRO also works closely with administration, staff and students to develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
That would include facilitating communication between the school district and local law enforcement.
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