GOSHEN TOWNSHIP The West Branch community is getting to know its new school resource officer.
Effective this week Nicholas Brent of Austintown takes over as school resource officer and juvenile detective with the Goshen Police District, replacing Cpl. Craig Crider who recently took a full-time position with the Salem Police Department. Brent, who has been with the department since February 2012, has been visible at the school the past three weeks.
A 1996 graduate of Berea High School near Cleveland, Brent earned his Ohio Police Officers Training Academy (OPOTA) certification from Kent State University-Trumbull campus in 2010.
He said he entered law enforcement because he was looking for a career, not just a job.
"Law enforcement is a field where you can do a lot of different things," he said. "So school resource officer wasn't the plan, but it was something that opened up. I was in the right place at the right, the best fit from the current staff."
And even though he may not have planned for the position, Brent said he is looking forward to continuing the relationship with the district forged by Crider, who recommended Brent for the position.
"The door to my office (at the school) is always open," he said. "The goal is to make sure people still can feel comfortable. I'm not going to be that badge that everyone is afraid of."
Available at the high school most of the day throughout the week, Brent responds to each of the buildings within the district, and said he hopes to be an active part of the school community.
"The goal is to make sure to be proactive, know what's happening when it's happening so that I can be a part of it," he said.
Brent noted that he will receive additional training for the position later this year.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org