Officer Charles Saguil, the new school resource officer at Foster High, left, and Elijah Ruhl, a security officer at the school, monitor footage on the school’s security cameras. Saguil started in the new role on Jan. 2. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

Officer Charles Saguil, the new school resource officer at Foster High, left, and Elijah Ruhl, a security officer at the school, monitor footage on the school’s security cameras. Saguil started in the new role on Jan. 2. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

Saguil takes on new role as school resource officer at Foster High School

Tukwila Police Officer Charles Saguil hopes to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth in his new role as the school resource officer at Foster High School.

Saguil, who was previously assigned as a night patrol officer in the department where he has worked for more than three years, started the new position on Jan. 2. He replaces Adam Balcom, who was recently promoted to sergeant. Saguil was one of three officers to apply for the position.

He had applied for the school resource officer position two years ago to replace Lisa Harrison, who had been in the role 17 years, but Balcom was selected.

“I didn’t really know what an SRO was in high school because I didn’t really see them or anything,” Saguil said. “It wasn’t until I (applied) that first time that I really started to understand what was going on. In the last two years, I have kind of been job shadowing Adam.”

Saguil hopes to be a role model or mentor to students.

“Just in my own personal life, my dad wasn’t around, so I had coaches and teachers that were very influential to me,” he said. “I thought in this position I could do the same and kind of give back and police in a different way.”

While he will miss working patrol, Saguil said his new role is important.

“I think I am doing proactive police work in a different way,” he said. “I am not catching in-progress crimes, but I am deterring the future crimes.”

The role of school resource officer has three main duties, Saguil said. The first is as a law enforcement officer for the school responding to any crimes that may happen on campus. The second is as an informal counselor or mentor.

“I am just another outlet for kids who may not feel comfortable talking to teachers or security officers, just someone else who is part of the school but not really working for the administration,” he said.

His third role is as an educator.

“Sometimes teachers will pull me in,” he said. “I have already had one teacher ask me to come in and do a presentation on the Fourth Amendment.”

Saguil hopes to use social media to reach more students.

“I can meet a lot, but it is obviously hard to meet everybody,” he said. “If you look around in the cafeteria, everybody is on their phone. I am hoping to get (on) Facebook and have them see me without the badge. A lot of times they just know me in my uniform, but there is so much more, to not just me, but any officer.”

Saguil would like to help coach sports at the high school as another way to connect to students but also because he is passionate about sports.

“I have tried to help out here in the past, but just because of my work schedule – I was working nights and 12-hour shifts – it was just hard,” he said.

Last year, Saguil, along with eight others from the police department, participated in the World Police and Fire Games in Los Angeles. Saguil brought home gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling and submission grappling and a silver medal in freestyle wrestling.

He is already preparing for the 2019 World Police and Fire Games in Chengdu, China.

In 2016, Saguil competed in the U.S. Police and Fire Championships in San Diego and took first place in the submission grappling heavyweight division. He was the only competitor from Tukwila that year.

Another outreach Saguil wants to use to reach students is the Bulldog Academy, an after-school program that Balcom began last year to teach students about law enforcement.

For now, Balcom is still running the Bulldog Academy.

“Hopefully in the future, as I learn how that process works and what actually goes into it, I will probably be taking it over.”

Even though Balcom is in a new role, he is still involved in the school.

“I have had a couple of people comment on how (Balcom) built such a good foundation on building relationships that my role is going to be easier just stepping in and continuing what he is doing,” Saguil said. “He hasn’t really left me hanging. If I need something from him, I can call him.”

For the time being, Saguil is also serving as the police department’s transport officer, bringing those in custody to court on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“An officer needs to go pick people up from Seattle or Kent and bring them to (municipal) court,” he said.

As school resource officer, Saguil is assigned to the department’s Community Police Team, so when school is not in session he will help out that unit.

During the summer, he will attend training and conferences for school resource officers.

Officer Charles Saguil took over as the school resource officer at Foster High School on Jan. 2. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

Officer Charles Saguil took over as the school resource officer at Foster High School on Jan. 2. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

[flipp]

More in News

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

File photo
Law enforcement oversight office seeks subpoena power

Organization has been unable to investigate King County Sheriff’s Office.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources/Kari Greer
Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019

Humans cause majority of fires in state

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

Call for peace, unity, understanding

City, county and state leaders show support of Islam community in wake of massacre at New Zealand mosques

King County bail reform hinges on pretrial decision making

Data on inmates has shown that being held pretrial affects the likelihood of conviction.

State smoking age rising to 21 in 2020

Legislature approves change

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Defense Distributed’s 3D printed gun, The Liberator. Photo by Vvzvlad/Wikimedia Commons
‘Ghost gun’ bill moves to Senate committees

Legislation would make 3-D printed guns illegal.

King County Council with Sarah Reyneveld, chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board. Photo courtesy of King County
King County proclaims March as Women’s History Month

This year’s theme is Womxn Who Lead: Stories from the past and how they influence the future.

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.