TAUNTON — Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School Superintendent-Director Dr. Alexandre Magalhaes and Taunton Police Chief Edward J. Walsh are pleased to announce a special Senior Day appreciation event was held today at the school, which also served as an end of the year thank-you event for the department’s School Resource Officers.
Following graduation rehearsal this morning, seniors were treated to a variety of stations set up at the school that featured free food, games and more. One of the stations was a drink stand co-sponsored by the Taunton Police Department and Raynham-based Aroma Joe’s Coffee.
“This has been a challenging year, but our seniors have shown incredible resilience and determination to get to this point,” Superintendent Magalhaes said. “We wanted this celebration to give them a special day and also thank the SROs who do such great work here and at the middle and high schools in the city.”
Bristol-Plymouth SRO Jayson LaPlante said that remote learning made it challenging to connect with students in the face-to-face way he normally does, but that it has been great to be able to interact with students over the past month now that students have returned in full.
“What we do is all about helping students with whatever they need, and also allowing them to see us as a positive presence in the schools,” he said. “Through a variety of outreach programs and partnerships we hope that students see officers in a positive light and they know that they can come to us for any reason.”
The SROs in the city follow the “HERO” model, which include Helping students, Educating students, Respect building, and Outreach. This allows the officers to educate students on things such as vaping and teen dating; building relationships between students, police and the greater community; hosting events that bring local businesses together and more.
In addition to SRO LaPlante, the School Resource Officers in the city are Taunton High School SROs Casey Holmes and Bryan Chaves and middle school SRO Peter MacDougall.
It was SRO MacDougall who partnered with Aroma Joe’s for “Aroma Joe’s with the SRO’s,” a coffee-with-a-cop type event held in April at Taunton High School as a way to welcome students back to full in-person learning. They were asked to come to Bristol-Plymouth as a way to thank School Resource Officers while also providing students with refreshments as part of Senior Day.
“Partnering with local businesses is a major part of what we try to do, and the support of the community is tremendous,” Superintendent Magalhaes said. “In addition to Aroma Joe’s, so many local businesses stepped up to make donations for Senior Day to help give our seniors a really nice send-off before graduation.”
Bristol-Plymouth graduation is scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at the school.