Changing of the guard
Tomball High School now has a new police officer patrolling the halls. With Harris County Precinct 4 facing enormous budget cuts, they were left with no other choice but to pull out of Tomball schools. Tomball Police Officer Jennifer Torres will take the position left by Officer Greg Tucker.
“I’m not sure what all is gonna need to be done here, but I hope to bring just as much as Officer Tucker has brought to the table,” Torres said.
Tucker is employed by Harris County Precinct 4, which recently was forced to layoff just short of 100 officers. Although he will not be working at the high school anymore, he was one of the fortunate officers that still have a job, and will be reassigned to being a patrol officer. But Tomball schools weren’t the only ones that lost their cops.
“Cy-Fair has been the big impact. They had around 55 student resource officers, Tomball has two—Willow Wood Junior High and Tomball High School,” Tomball Police Chief Robert Hauck said.
But fear not, Tomball High School. The school is in good hands with Torres. Formally a patrol officer for Tomball Police Department, she is ready to take on the new job. She has even been working with the constable officer over at Tomball Junior High throughout the school year, so has a general understanding of what the job will entail.
“I can tell you that Jennifer has that thirteen years of patrol experience, and she has certainly proven to me that she understands the job. She recognizes both her strengths and her weaknesses,” Hauck said.
Some have concerns about the differences the school will face changing from the male officer to the new female officer. But this seems to faze neither Torres nor the police chief.
“I certainly think that you’re going to find that Jennifer is going to be a great role model for both men and women alike. But it is going to be a new dynamic,” Hauck said. “I think one of the real positive things is that it’s going to be a positive female role model in a school with nearly 3,000 young men and women. I think that’s huge.”
Even though the Tomball police will now be in charge of the police in the school district instead of Harris County, there will not be any changes to what the officer will do on campus. Her goal will still be to maintain a safe environment for the students and administration alike.
“We want to take everything good about what Greg has done at this school and everything that he has enforced and just take that to the next level,”Hauck said.
It has even been suggested by the police chief himself that the students try to help Officer Torres transition into her new job.
“We’re in this together, and there has to be communication, and that’s really going to help her understand what the expectations of you are,” Hauck said. “You are the community here, you are the populous, so don’t forget that.”