Chief Chad Johanning has been making an appearance at Little River High School this year with the new role as School Resource Officer. What is a School Resource Officer you may be asking? Well that’s what we students were thinking too, our minds were set that he is just here so he could catch us awful teenagers more easily. Our suspicions were of course ,wrong. Chief Chad is actually here to help our community, teachers, and students. He is a “community outreach for early signs of depression or unstable mental health.” Chief Chad Johanning seems to be the perfect candidate for the SRO position at Little River/Windom Schools. He gets along great with people, and this will benefit the community and the school as well as the students involved,” says Donny Teeters, mayor of Little River.
Johanning is here to show the students that he is not just a cop, the “bad guy”, or someone who is here to write tickets, he is someone they can come to if they are having issues. “Give the kids a chance to know that just because I’m a cop, I’m still human,” says Johanning. He plans to get students involved in learning how to defend themselves, with a self defense class, giving them a chance to feel confident in defending themselves. Audrey Herbst, principal at Little River adds, “Chief Johanning also often helps with locating resources to solve challenges and to offer learning opportunities for students, for example, the recent “Distracted Driving” seminar. He also worked with Mrs. Hildebrand, to organize a social media presentation and an anti-bullying presentation. Often, Chief Johanning serves as a liaison between community and school.” He has plans to get surrounding counties and their deputies on board with what we are doing here, so in case anything did happen, no law enforcement officer would be walking into our school blind.
Johanning enjoys his time sipping his coffee and getting to know the students and faculty better. You will rarely find him in his little office, for he is always patrolling the halls, it must be those officer instincts in him. Johanning is always on call, in case of any town emergency, meaning he is not restrained by the walls of our school. A 24/7 job for a hard working Police Chief, father, and now School Resource Officer. Teeters says, “We hope the City of Little River and USD 444 continue to see a mutual benefit of Chief Chad and continue what we have gotten set up in perpetuity. I feel strongly it is a very good situation for all parties involved.”