Booking Officer Jacob Lukas

New School Resource Officer joins staff as a Shelby Township Police employee working within Utica High School.

Elizabeth Cetnar, Editor-in-Chief

Elizabeth Cetnar
Shelby Township Police Officer Jacob Lukas, the new School Resource Officer, poses for a “mugshot.”

For just about anyone, it can be a new and potentially uncomfortable experience to be interacting with a police officer on a daily basis. While Shelby Township Police Liaison Officer Jim Malczewski can be seen part-time in the building, and security officer John Perry can be seen stickering cars and checking on students every day, seeing a fully-uniformed police officer was a strange sight for many students.

Shelby Township Police Officer Jacob Lukas, in partnership between Utica Community Schools, Utica High School, and the Shelby Township Police Department, is here to change the stigma surrounding police officers and students. On April 17, Lukas joined the Utica High community as its new School Resource Officer.

“I’m here to better school security,” Lukas said, “and develop a better relationship with the department, school, and kids.”

As intimidating as his uniform and position can be, Lukas wants to be a someone that students feel like they can confide in.

“There’s a rumor going around that I was hired to intimidate people. To quote someone, ‘If they wanted someone to intimidate us, they shouldn’t have hired someone who looks like he just graduated,’” he said. “I like people to think of me as someone to talk to.”

Although he is an employee of the Shelby Township Police Department, any potential legal issues will still go to administration first, before he gets involved. Contrary to rumor, there won’t be any handcuffing unless a situation escalates to that level.

Lukas is looking forward to being a Chieftain and being there for students during and after school.

“Everyone has been so welcoming – both teachers and students,” he said. “I’m excited to be here and see everyone walking around with their T-shirts and hoodies with their sports on them. I can’t wait to go to some games.”