NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – For years, Richland High School’s School Resource Officer Loren Walden has used his own money to buy laptops for some of the students he knows are in need.
“We were able to get a laptop, an electric mouse, and flash drives for quite a few kids,” said Officer Walden.READ MORE: North Texas Law Enforcement Disappointed In Gov. Abbott's Veto Of Domestic Violence Education Bill
This year he got help from police organizations, other officers, firefighters and the North Richland Hills Target to provide laptops and other equipment for 11 graduating seniors.
“Like me and other officers we don’t do a lot of the things we do for recognition. We do them because we care about people,” he said. “It’s not just about being a police officer to do this kind of stuff it’s just being a good human being nowadays.”
Walden has been a police officer for 15 years and an SRO for the last five.
Before coming to Richland High, he worked at two feeder middle schools, which is why he says he feel as if he’s grown up with the students.READ MORE: Dallas County DA Reverses Plans To Seek Death Penalty For Alleged Serial Killer Billy Chemirmir
“You get to really invest and get to see kind of the return on it. You get to see them grow and graduate and move on about their lives once they get out of high school,” Walden said.
He’s played sports, gone to games and supported them, all with the goal of building a better student-police relationship.
He’s found getting to know them on a deeper level, allows him to be a better mentor.
“When you get to know these guys you see him in the hall every day and it they really do become yours, you know? These are my students. I take pride in them,” he said.MORE NEWS: 'New Personnel & Procedures, Insufficient Oversight' Led To Texas Execution Without Media Present
Through this, he’s gotten to know a lot of the students and their families.