Office Mikhail Stanton recently took over School Resource Officer duties at Milford Central Academy because he wanted to do more community policing. Officer Stanton said that his main goal in accepting the SRO position was to be a positive influence on students.
“I want to help troubled kids,” Officer Stanton said. “I want to be seen as more than a disciplinarian to a child who has behavioral problems. My goal is to try to put them back on the right track. These are students who will soon move onto high school and then adulthood, and now is when they need to be provided the guidance they need to make it throughout life.”
Officer Stanton grew up in Dagsboro and attended Sussex Central High School. After high school, he joined the Army National Guard and served tours of duty in Afghanistan. He said that he often uses what he learned during his tours of duty with students he works with.
“Just the other day, I was speaking to a child who was having issues,” Officer Stanton said. “He told me he plans to go into the military. I used my experiences to tell him that unacceptable behavior is not tolerated in the military. I worked with him to show him that he needs to adjust his thinking if he wants to succeed in the Armed Forces. I think the fact that I actually lived it helps them see that they can succeed and they know that I am telling them the truth.”
As a new SRO, Officer Stanton said his biggest challenge right now is getting to know the students and the staff. He said that he enjoys working with the kids and plans to remain an SRO for as long as he can. One of the things he is looking forward to as an SRO is a child returning later in life and telling him that his words made a difference.
“I want to touch a child’s life in a positive way,” Officer Stanton said. “Even if it is tough love, I want them to know I truly care about them and want to see them succeed. With kids this age, it is tough for them to understand that discipline shows that we care about them, but I am hoping I can get that through to them.”
Officer Stanton has been with Milford Police Department since 2013 and began his police career in Milford. He said that no one else in his family was in law enforcement and that he chose the career in order to “start a new trend” in the family. He says remaining in the SRO program is up to Chief Kenneth Brown, but that he hopes to remain in the school as long as possible.