Detective Nicole Mitchell Steps in as New ELHS Resource Officer

Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 9:18 am
By: 
Casandra Eriksen

Above: Mitchell and previous Resource Officer Detective Steve Whelan

Detective Nicole Mitchell is set to become the new ELPD school resource officer at ELHS, according to East Lansing Police Chief Larry Sparkes.

According to a press release, Mitchell will act as a liaison between ELPD and ELHS, and “will be onsite at the high school to ensure safety and security.”

Lieutenant Scott Sexton, head of the ELPD Detective Bureau said Mitchell was chosen because she has six and a half years of experience, and over the last year or two she did some job shadowing. She has also demonstrated the ability to write good reports and show compassion when interviewing victims of abuse and sex crimes.

While being onsite at ELHS is not the only aspect of her job, she will spend most of her time there. She will also work with the middle and elementary schools.

Sexton said in addition to working with schools, Mitchell will handle “criminal investigations involving juveniles and will be trained to serve as a juvenile forensic interviewer for the department.”

He said the school resource officer position was briefly in jeopardy and there were no definite plans to fund the position. However, once the income tax passed then they knew they had funding.

Sexton said, “Even if the income tax hadn’t passed it still would’ve been a hard position to cut.” He noted it’s important to have a liaison between ELPD and ELPS and to have someone with knowledge of the schools’ layout in case of an emergency.

Sexton says Mitchell is excited to get to work. At the school assembly, he described her “jumping on stage, introducing herself, talking about where she is from to show she is more than just a uniform.” Mitchell is also meeting with principals, staff, and faculty so they can talk about expectations that they have for her and she has for them.

Mitchell is replacing Detective Steve Whelan, who has been the high school’s resource officer for eleven years. He will transfer to the ELPD Patrol Division in September.

East Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Dori Leyko said “We are extremely thankful for and will greatly miss Det. Whelan’s experience and dedication to our school community as our school resource officer. Our team is excited to begin our work with Det. Mitchell and believe that she will build positive relationships with our students and staff. Her passion for working with young people makes her a great fit for this position. We are thankful for this collaboration between ELPS and ELPD.”

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