New resource officer bring versatility to position

Goshen Police District Officer Anthony Pilolli is the new school resource officer at West Branch Local Schools. (Submitted photo)

BELOIT — The new school resource officer at West Branch Local Schools brings experience in medical response in addition to policing to a position that can help draw the local police department and school community closer together.

Goshen Police District Officer Anthony Pilolli has been serving as the school resource officer the past several weeks, replacing Cpl. Kevin Ragan who took a position with another department. Pilolli has over seven years police experience and has been with the Goshen Police District since October 2012. He is also a medic and firefighter, still holding his credentials for both, and has Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) experience, as well.

Pilolli will serve as school resource officer for the district and teach DARE classes to second and fifth grades at Damascus and Knox Elementary schools. He said he also walks through the halls and cafeteria, serves parking lot duty, hangs around areas not covered by cameras and checks exits and entrances.

According to Pilolli, acting as school resource officer provides an opportunity to serve the community in a different capacity than he had been as a patrolling officer.

“It’s a matter of proactive versus reactive,” he said. “It’s a different challenge, different speed, different option, a whole different challenge from the street.

“It’s dealing with juveniles and teachers, school staff. Teaching classes is different than day-to-day policing, working on the streets.”

Describing the position as “honing down the skills of community policing,” Pilolli stressed the need for a positive working relationship between the school and police department, noting that his transition has been very smooth.

“I want to pave a foundation for a healthy relationship between the police department and the students, staff and administration at West Branch,” he said, ” and I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the community.”