School resource officer ready to protect and help Chartiers Valley students
Collier patrolman Bill Oslick has two primary roles in his new job as school resource officer.
Oslick, who begins his job at Chartiers Valley Middle School/High School campus on Thoms Run Road in early February, at first wants to build informal relationships with the students and staff.
“Those kids know I have a job to do. But the first thing I want to do is create a positive image of the police department in the schools. I want them to know that we are not necessary there to arrest them, cite them, every time something goes wrong.
“I think that is the first thing I want to do. But I also understand I have a job.”
Oslick, 40, a patrolman for the Collier police for the past eight years, also understands he must be ambivalent about the school resource officer position.
“The (kids) have to understand that, while we are there to establish relationships with them, they can't be treated any different. We all have grown up. We all have made mistakes. We are human beings. We wear the uniform, but we understand that kids make mistakes,” Oslick said.
The job includes reaffirming his role as a law enforcement officer. He must enforce federal, state and local criminal laws.
Oslick is there, mainly, for the protection of the students. He will be armed at all times; he also will have access to ballistic helmets, armor plates that can resist rifle shots, multiple high capacity magazines for his handgun and rifles, and other weapons.
“I want the kids to be safe, all of us do. That is why we are at the schools,” he said.
A Penn Hills native and 1992 graduate of Penn Hills High School, Oslick is now an Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) instructor. He has a background in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and also was a fire investigator for the City of Pittsburgh from 2002 until 2005.
Oslick has worked security at several Chartiers Valley football and basketball games. Because of this, he has developed a camaraderie with students.
“Several people I know tell me I should have been a teacher. I do work well with kids. It always has come natural to me,” Oslick said.
He views the school resource officer position as a new challenge.
“I've done a lot of things in my career. This will be something new. And I would like to go in there and get it right, do it right,” he said.
The number of Collier police officers will slip to 10 with the departure of Oslick and Steve Oberle, who will be the school resource officer at the primary school.
Chief Tom Devin said he is losing two good police officers.
“It's unfortunate, but I think this is what we need to do for the protection of the schools,” he said.
Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.