Protecting and serving during COVID-19

School resource officer shares insight on working during pandemic
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 4:46 PM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - During the coronavirus pandemic, school resource officers are more important than ever before. Along with physical safety, now health is another priority. For more than 15 years, school resource officer Horacio Cortez has served the Pineville Elementary Lions. His own children attended the school.

Cortez enjoys providing student safety and service to the school. He serves in any way possible, including involvement in extra-curricular activities, school maintenance, and keeping up with uniforms for students in need.

A new task for Cortez is focusing on compliance, making sure everyone follows all COVID-19 guidelines. He explained he does act as a ‘mask patrol’ because he wants everyone to wear a mask so the school can remain open.

“Students, teachers, everybody, they’re like, ‘oh you’re the mask patrol?‘ I said I just want to be at the school. So as long as everybody complies I’ll stay at the school, when we don’t comply then I can end up somewhere else for three months. Just to protect, that’s why I’m here at the school. You got to protect these children all the time. And you’re a deputy 24 hours a day. If you’re at Walmart, you know, it makes it nice when they say, ‘Hey there’s officer Cortez'. I try to put the negative behind me. I’m always positive you know otherwise it brings you down so you just have to think positive all the time. That’s why I enjoy it.”

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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