High school to get new resource officer | SteamboatToday.com

High school to get new resource officer

Christine Metz

The Steamboat Springs High School will be getting a new resource officer from the Steamboat Springs Police Depart-ment next week.

For three years, police Officer Jason Patrick has been walking the halls of the high school, acting as police officer, teacher, coach and friend.

J.D. Hays, director of Public Safety Services, said Patrick is leaving the force to manage a ranch. His replacement will be Debbie Funston.

“We are sorry to see Jason go,” Hays said. “But we are excited to have Debbie in that position.”

Funston was selected by a group of four high school students, two parents, a teacher, two high school administrators and Hays. If the department did not have someone who would make a good resource officer, Hays said, he would have looked outside.

Funston has more than 11 years of police experience but has been on the Steamboat force for about a year. She worked in Virginia and in her hometown of Montrose.

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In Montrose, she supervised the D.A.R.E. Program and investigations and was the patrol supervisor.

Hays said Funston would bring a woman’s perspective to the job and has the qualities that make a good resource officer.

The police department started posting resource officers at the school in 1997. Hays said the resource officers always have been well received by the majority of students.

“It is another resource for students and faculty to promote a safe and better environment for education,” Hays said.

The past two resource officers have been involved in coaching athletics, and Hays said Funston is expecting to do the same.

The resource officers also act as schoolteacher, mentor and counselor, Hays said.

When schools in session, the resource officer is in the building. They also go to athletic events and are the security at high school dances.

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com