By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist
OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – A little bit of history walking the halls of Evans Middle School in Ottumwa this year, that wasn’t there in year’s past. “This is all the back hallway to the gym. So getting to learn the new addition and the cafeteria,” said Ottumwa Police and Evans Middle School Resources Officer Kaitlyn Overturf.
It’s her first year as resource officer at Evans middle school, but it’s a location she’s familiar with. Because she went to school here, 16 years ago.
“You get flashbacks of what you did with your friends growing up,” said Officer Overturf. Still it is different from when she was in school.
“This was a back half hallway to get to classrooms. This was an outdoor door to go outside. So this is all new to me on this side,” said Overturf. Now she’s the authority on campus.
“You have your unruly kids. Which every school has that and kids have their off days. I think how you talk to kids and how you handle the situation at the time,” said Overturf. Responsibilities are different than from last year when she patrolled the streets.
“Just understanding how kids are these days. And understanding where they are coming from. And their life changes and trying to adapt to them,” said Overturf.
Rather than dealing with those already in trouble with the law, now she can get to students early. Teach them life skills they need to stay out of trouble, in her gang resistance education and training program. So they don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
“I teach them how to avoid conflict and trouble and keep away from the troubled groups and how they can avoid anything that can come their way,” said Overturf.
Still, even with her more serious responsibilities. Being in her Alma Mater, brings a smile to her face.
“There’s definitely flashbacks. This is one of my joyful times of life was middle school,” said Overturf.
Maybe one of these kids will have the same experience when they grow up. That she provided for them.
This is Officer Overturf’s second year on the Ottumwa Police force. She says she’s really starting to enjoy her interactions with the kids, and helping those head down the right path in life.
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