Herbel hired as SRO in R-2 schools

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 5/3/23

Gasconade County School District’s new school resource officer (SRO), Isaiah (Ike) Herbel, of Rosebud, began work on Monday.

“We visited all campuses (Monday) morning,” said …

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Herbel hired as SRO in R-2 schools


Gasconade County School District’s new school resource officer (SRO), Isaiah (Ike) Herbel, of Rosebud, began work on Monday.

“We visited all campuses (Monday) morning,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy. “He came in Friday to get the location of his office. He went in and met staff and students this morning.”

Herbel was hired at the April 17 board meeting as the district’s first full-time SRO. He can not be pulled away from a campus during the day by an law enforcement agency because he is employed by the district. However, since all SROs are required to be POST certified and have a commission from a police department, Herbel will carry his commission through the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department where he will continue to be listed as a part-time officer.

“I went to work for the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department when I got out of the academy in 2020,” Herbel said. “Prior to that, I worked for the federal government as a mechanic for seven years. Before that I spent 17 years in the army reserves working as a mechanic.”

Herbel also has two children in the school district. During the Monday morning tour he worked to become acclimated with his surroundings.

“My office is located in the middle school for now and most likely next year as well,” he said.

Herbel’s duties will include maintaining security measures for every building in the district.

“I am waiting until they get me a patrol vehicle,” Herbel said. “I will be able to use it to go from school to school in Owensville and Gerald. I will be doing more patrolling that way and bouncing around the schools more often.”

Additionally, Herbel will be teaching various programs in each building.

“I am looking forward to bringing back the D.A.R.E program, at the elementary level especially,” he said. “I don’t know if there is an upper level D.A.R.E. program for the middle school.”

Herbel will be taking an SRO training course in June and plans to take as many law-enforcement approved school safety courses as possible.

“I am working on some Alice training and active shooter stuff and getting some admin stuff out of the way,” Herbel said. “I would like to go through different trainings, active shooter stuff, become an instructor to offer courses at our buildings and send all the teachers through.”

Herbel said it is great for teachers to attend ALICE, an active shooter training program, and other school shooter training events, but it is more helpful if that event is completed at the school where they work.

“It is great to know where things are and what the plan is,” he said.

In addition to drug awareness, Herbel also plans to become a juvenile officer to be able to work closely with children rather than have to bring in another officer.

“It would make the task easier to do as much as possible in situations involving children,” he said. “Whenever they create more positions, the officer would get SRO training done and become a juvenile officer.”

He is also working on security upgrades.

“Upgrading and securing security features as much as possible with more cameras and different angles would also be helpful,” Herbel said. “Getting a command post established for myself and future SROs to have cameras and monitors throughout the district, whether at the administration building or Gerald Elementary School (GES), so we know what is going on when we can’t be at that location.”

Working with six law enforcement agencies is another challenge Herbel knows he will encounter.

“I will work with Owensville Police Department as a sheriff’s deputy and with former SRO Brenn Finely quite a bit to get more information,” he said.

Herbel said all agencies that could possibly respond to an emergency in the Gasconade County R-2 School District should have a master key or fob for the buildings.

“Every sheriff’s deputy and the SRO should have one so they don’t have to wait for a staff member to let them in a certain door if something happens,” Herbel said. “If something happens, time is of the utmost importance and we don’t want them to not be able to get into the buildings.”

Herbel said they will need to work something out with the Gerald Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Department as well since they would likely be responding to the GES campus. Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troops F and C will likely need to be in regular communication due to the school district having campuses in both counties.

“That is potentially six law enforcement agencies,” Herbel said. “That is a lot of communication between multiple departments.”

Building security will not be Herbel’s only focus.

“I want to use some of my connections at the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to assist the school in getting a stop light on Highway 19 to help with the afternoon school traffic,” he said. “Trying to turn left out of the middle school can be a very difficult and time-consuming task. I will try to work traffic here as much as possible when I have a vehicle that has flashing lights on it to help cut down with congestion in that area.”

Congestion is primarily caused by the non-stop left-hand turns from the high school parking lot that make it difficult to turn left out of the middle school drive.

“The school has tried to work on that in the past, and I will try to assist them as best I can,” he said.

Moving forward would be a learning process.

The district plans to expand the program and hopefully have an SRO at every building in the future. Ideally, Herbel will be in charge of that program. Although he is a certified police officer with arresting capabilities through the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department, he is a Gasconade County R-2 School District employee and will not be dressed in a sheriff’s deputy uniform while at work.

“Dr. Hardy said I could decide on (what to wear),” Herbel said when asked how he would identify himself to students, staff and community members. “Right now I will be dressed in tactical black pants and an orange polo. Eventually it will have SRO on the back of the shirt in reflective letters.”

The district has been in search of a full-time SRO since the beginning of the school year.

“This is really exciting for us,” Hardy said. “He will be between all four buildings and some of our evening activities as well.”