The Brighton Police Dept. Officer of the Year for 2018 has been chosen. The selection of Officer Chris Parks was announced at Thursday night’s City Council meeting. City Police Chief Rob Bradford told the capacity audience at city hall some of the many reasons why Officer Chris Parks was accorded the honor.

First and foremost, Bradford said Parks is the Brighton Area Schools resource officer and works closely with the schools' staff, administration and particularly students, to help ensure a safe, secure school environment and provide assistance where needed.

In addition, Chief Bradford said Officer Parks was responsible for implementing a new technology in district schools called the “Raptor” Emergency Management system, which is used to flag specific individuals who try to enter a school campus. If the Raptor user determines an alert is a match for the visitor, a notification will be sent out via text and or email to a predetermined notification list. In the event of an emergency the system sends out mass notifications, helping school staff, parents and emergency responders, and helps to unify students with their parents. He also inspected all of the Knox Boxes in the schools, making sure all are up to date with all the pertinent information to allow rapid access for emergency responders.

Officer Parks also planned, prepared and administrated the first-ever Brighton Police Youth Academy which was held last summer for youths from middle school through high school. A second annual Police Youth Academy is already being planned for this coming summer. In the academy, recruits gain self confidence while learning team-building skills, earning first aid/CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator, boater and hunter safety, and an introduction into scuba diving. The academy is provided at no cost to the students, nor does it impact the police dept. budget.

Finally, Officer Parks conducted several after-school programs at Brighton High School for parents on such subjects as keeping your child’s social media account secure. Bradford said the police dept. and school district have received many calls and e-mails thanking Parks for his support when their child was going through a trying emotional time. (TT)