October 23, 2017

Anna Maria Elementary Welcomes a New School Resource Officer

Posted on September 19, 2015 by in Florida, Hometown

Teacher Tina Goffred’s 1st Grade Class at Anna Maria Elementary

From The Islander.

Teacher Tina Goffred’s first-grade class stops Sept. 3 to show their library books to school resource officer Josh Fleischer, right, and clinician Vicki Dunning at Anna Maria Elementary, 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Photo by Kristin Swain. Click to view full image.

The 2015-16 school year has begun at Anna Maria Elementary and with it comes a new school resource officer.

“It’s something I always wanted to do,” Holmes Beach Police Officer Josh Fleischer said. “I like hanging out with the kids. They’re fun.”

Fleischer is a seven-year veteran of the HBPD. Born and raised in Manatee County, he worked in county law enforcement before transferring to the island. Now he spends his days with HBPD by patrolling the school, escorting students from buses and cars to the building, assisting teachers during lunchtime and learning the “Gummy Bear” dance with kindergarteners during physical education class.

Fleischer said he spends most of his day at the school, unless called to assist other HBPD officers. He said Sept. 2, he practiced bowling with kindergartners, assisted in art class and played monkey dodgeball.

“This is where I have fun,” Fleischer said. “I like all of it.”

Over the summer, Fleischer attended training and received his certification as an SRO and DARE instructor. “I taught DARE to kids in summer school in Fort Myers,” Fleischer said. He said he’s excited to bring the 10-week DARE program to AME for the new school year and is working with fifth-grade teachers on a start date for the program.

“Josh has been interested in being a SRO since I got here,” Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer said. “He’s very good with the kids, very personable. He’s an energetic young man. I think he’ll be a good influence on the kids. He has community policing in his heart.”

“Kids are where it starts,” Fleischer said. “This is where I have fun, at school.”

He may find the feeling is mutual, as past SROs at AME have been embraced by the students and the school community.