Fresno, California - Officer Dave Standley works at Roosevelt High School. He was just named officer of the year for mentoring students. In Fresno student resource officers are now on both high school and middle school campuses sharing information about potential problems and threats. In a new approach to campus safety and understanding gangs officer Standley is educating school administrators and fellow officers on how the teen brain works.
"The rival gang. The criminal record. How it could impact their future. The risk of being shot, or honestly even killed," said Dave Standley.
With gang violence erupting in South Fresno, these conversations between student resource officer Dave Standley and his students have never been more important. He's working to help educate fellow officers and school administrators on the teen brain.
"When a person is 14, or 15 years old they are still operating with their decision making process the same way they did when they were 10, 11, 12 years old and they are taking a lot of risky behaviors and their not looking at the consequential side of things," said Dave Standley.
Standley says this is how gangs manipulate teens. Also a church pastor, Standley is leading outreach for Gangland Redemption. He's teaming up with his wife Tish who builds community relationships through Valley Dream Center.
"She gives me a different perspective. She sees things through a different lens," Standley said about Tish.
"We talk about how do we improve community relations with law enforcement in the community and we get to talk about that right at home and we could talk about that right at home and kind of sort that all out and then bring it to the table," said Tish.
Leaning on his marriage and the gospel, Standley aims to change the perception of law enforcement for students.
"It humanizes who I am. I'm not just officer Standley. I'm also a father. I'm also a husband and when I'm humanized then hopefully when they get pulled over by a police officer after they are 18 years old. It humanizes the person who just pulled them over and they realize this guy is not trying to harass you he's trying to make the city safer," said Dave Standley.
Tish Standley made a bold statement. She says Fresno can put an end to gang violence, but it starts with building strong relationships through love and volunteers.
For ways you can get involved, or get help visit: www.valleydreamcenter.org