HARVEYS LAKE — Borough Police Officer Corey Pavinski was in the fifth year of his law enforcement career when an opportunity to become a school resource officer was offered.
The position would transition him from part-time status to full-time and require him to complete 40-hours of specialized training to protect the children, faculty and staff at Lake-Noxen Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year.
“This was not a goal that I initially saw in my career,” the 25-year-old said. “But when I was made aware of the opportunity, I made it a goal to prove myself to the school, the (borough) council and my chief that I am the perfect officer for that position.”
Pavinski’s dealings with area youth was one of the reasons he was chosen to be honored in the Times Leader’s Badge of Honor section.
An SRO is a law enforcement trained individual armed and stationed at a school.
The position has several benefits, which include, preventing property damage in the area, reducing the likelihood a student develops a criminal record, and increasing the feeling of safety among students and staff, according to the National Association of School Resource Officers.
“I always said if the kids can approach you and trust you they will give you all the information you need,” Pavinski said. “Children observe everything and register more than you know.”
On July 16, Pavinski went to Upland to complete the week-long National Association of School Resource Officers training program.
“I learned how to adapt into a school environment along with many other things,” he said.
Pavinski saw value in building lines of communication with area youth early in his career.
In 2014, he was employed as a part-time police officer in Edwardsville, as well as in Harveys Lake and Luzerne boroughs.
It was common for him take a few minutes during the day to shoot hoops with local children.
“If me playing basketball for five minutes while on patrol gains a child’s trust and shows them that not all cops are bad – that I’m approachable – then I did my job,” Pavinski said.
Pavinski always had an interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement.
“I had many family and friends in law enforcement, so I have always been around it,” he said. “I loved the stories of fighting crime and chasing down bad guys, but also hearing the other side of police work as well.”
It is the diversity of police work that holds his interest. Whether it is providing information, taking a complaint, or responding to an emergency, Pavinski is ready to help.
“In a single shift, I could come into contact with an elderly lady speeding because she is late for church, and the next call I can be dealing with a convicted felon who tells me he is not going back to jail,” he said. “The changing workday keeps you on your toes, and that is exciting to me.”
Needing to be ready for anything is stressful. Pavinski’s method for handling that is a motorcycle ride “to get away for a while” and “clear his mind.”
“Seeing the things we see and doing the things we have to do can be taxing. It takes a special kind of person to put that uniform on every day and go into the unknown,” he said. “But no matter what, we chose this profession for a reason, and we will always be there when we are called upon.”
To read more Badge of Honor stories, click here.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews