Last summer, Mankato Director of Public Safety Todd Miller said he was making a push to increase the visibility of officers in local classrooms. 

"Our presence in the school district this year should be increased substantially.  I believe that can have a positive impact in the community."  Miller said last July in an interview with KTOE News.

Mankato school police officer Tom Rother talked with KTOE News on Tuesday, and explained that he has received special training for dealing with teens and teen issues, and networks with administrators and teachers to identify and help kids in trouble.  

"They'll call me directly on my cell phone.  I go to school, I talk to the kids, get a feel for what's going on, and reassure them I'm there to help them... and get them the resources that they need."  Rother said. 

The Mankato City Council voted just last week to include funding for a full-time police officer for Mankato schools in its 2013 budget.

New Mankato School Resource Officer Keith Mortensen (L), chatting with students Preston Reinarts and Sarah Blasing, and long time Mankato School Resource Officer Tom Rother (R) at West High School.   Photo by Wendy Wilde, KTOE News


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