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Pleasant Hill School Resource Officer Hosts 'Lunch with a Deputy'

Isabell worked hard to earn Panda Bucks by being a model student so she and her friend Larry could eat lunch with someone special.

"The kids think it’s cool that they get to see the police car but to see their reaction makes my day," said Deputy Lemuel Russ.

As a first-year School Resource Officer, Deputy Russ has worked hard to establish trust with the students at Pleasant Hill. He wants all his students to feel comfortable going to him if they need help. That's why he started hosting "Lunch with a Deputy" back in February.

"I was thinking I was going to get two or three [students]," said Deputy Russ. "I ended up with a whole bunch."

To date, he's hosted more than 65 students for lunch. While the students eat, Deputy Russ shows students how he keeps them safe on a daily basis.

"He watches the whole entire school with the cameras," said Isabell, a third grader at Pleasant Hill Elementary. "He also has a computer that tells him what other cops are doing."

When the two have cleaned their trays, Deputy Russ takes the students out to the parking lot where the students have a chance to sit inside his car and turn on the sirens.

"I got to go in his cop car and do the sirens. I never knew that there were four different sirens," said Isabell.

Seeing his car is always a highlight for the students. However, the highlight for Deputy Russ is having the time to really get to know the students he sees around the school.

"My first student, her mom said she was afraid of police officers. Not really in a negative way, but she thought we were big people and wore a lot of equipment, so she really opened up with me."

Due to testing, the lunches are winding down for this school year, but Deputy Russ plans to pick them back up in the fall.

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