Hillmen Messenger

Placer’s resource officer shares his responsibilities

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By Anna Petrovich

Messenger Staff Writer

Although almost every student at Placer knows of Leonard Shull and Steve Rowland and how they monitor student activity, only a handful of people realize that we also have a Resource Officer in our midst.

Joe Almeida has been assigned to Placer High School in the position of the School Resource Officer since April of 2016. Almeida stated, “I am a liaison for the school in regards to law enforcement questions, comments and concerns. As an SRO, I am considered [to be] on the administration staff for the school, but also have my law enforcement side, as well.”

Day to day, Almeida attends meetings. He meets with Placer’s school staff to go over any safety concerns and any trends they are seeing with regards to illegal activity. Occasionally, he creates school fliers to educate students on crime trends that have been observed on campus, including vaping issues. Almeida explained, “I pop into classrooms to say hi. I conduct presentations regarding student rights and how to interact with law enforcement during traffic stops. I also answer any questions students, parents or staff may have in regards to the law or current issues they are seeing.” Almeida’s favorite things about Placer High School are the rallies and football games. He enjoys coming out and seeing the spirit the students have for their school.

Almeida is also assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Auburn Police Department. He handles High Tech Crime cases, including fraud, cyber crimes, internet crimes against children and human trafficking cases. He is also “assigned to assist E.V. Cain Middle School, Alta Vista Community Charter School, and Skyridge Elementary School when they have events, presentations and assist with questions, as well.”

Placer’s Resource Officer has been employed with the Auburn Police Department for “approximately 11 years now.” Previous to working at the Auburn PD, Almeida worked for the Calaveras County Sheriff Department for about two years, assigned to general patrol.

Although Almeida was born in San Diego, he moved to Auburn when he was seven years old and considers his hometown to be Auburn. Almeida graduated from Placer High School in 2003. He was already in Law Enforcement at the age of 20 and attended online college from Penn Foster, located in Scottsdale, AZ. Almeida stated, “I studied Criminal Justice while in college. I also hold two Institute of Criminal Investigation certificates, my specialties being in Fraud and Computer Crime.”

Almeida does not believe that students at Placer are more prone to trouble than at other schools. He asserted that “most schools have a tendency to have some type of issue, whether it be marijuana, alcohol or fighting. Placer High School is an excellent school with students who have a lot of care and respect for one another.”

When it comes to school rules, Almeida allows the school administration staff to handle rule violations. His main concern is the safety of the students and making sure the campus is being monitored for outside issues.

Almeida expressed, “I enjoy working at Placer. Having the interaction with students allows them to see another perspective of Law Enforcement versus what is being portrayed in [the] movies and on TV. Students are always asking me questions in regards to my career and are interested in learning about their rights.”

Almeida believes that being able to interact on a one-on-one personal level allows for a more positive interaction between students, which can change their viewpoint the next time they see an officer, realizing he or she is part of the community, as well.

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Placer’s resource officer shares his responsibilities