Beatrice Public Schools welcomed its newest school resource officer at the start of the spring semester.
Following seven years of road patrol, Beatrice Police Department Officer Natasha Nesbitt is planting her feet in the Beatrice Middle School building, where she’ll serve as SRO for at least two years. She took the position after longtime SRO Tim Price left to get back into road patrol.
For Nesbitt, the new job is a substantial change to her routine, but she said she had many reasons to come on board.
“I like to gain experience in all different aspects of this career,” Nesbitt said. “And the school resource position would allow me to spend more time with the children and kind of get involved with them. At this age, in middle school, these kids are really impressionable. So you know, if they can have a good role model as a law enforcement officer … that keeps us hoping that we can make those good impressions with those kids, and they can reach out to us later in their life.”
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Nesbitt said SRO work can range from assisting with traffic control to community outreach to handling incidents as they come up. Above all, she said the job is about ensuring safety to students.
Nesbitt said she will probably miss some aspects of road patrol—the difference in work day-to-day, the constant movement. But she said she’s already found her few days on the job fulfilling.
“These kids have been really welcoming,” she said. “The rewarding aspect is that they trust me.”
Nesbitt said her daughter, who attends BMS, helped inspire that welcome.
“You know, I was kind of hesitant about it,” she said. “I actually asked her first if it would be okay if I worked here. I didn’t want to create any negative environments for her by me being in here. She was absolutely excited that I was in here… I think she actually helped my transition of being brand new in the middle school and got kids to know me.”
BMS Principal Andrew Haake said he’s grateful for the partnership between BPS and BPD.
“It’s unbelievable,” Haake said. “Creating the SRO partnerships with our schools also allows for a better understanding of how we can help students in the big picture. You know, not just academically in the classroom. But those SROs have the ability to understand what students are working through outside the classroom.”
Haake said SROs give peace of mind to students and teachers, serving as advisers, councilors and guardians in the building. He said he looks forward to working with Nesbitt in particular.
“What I’m excited for is she understands kids,” he said. “She relates well to them. It’s familiar territory to her.”
Nesbitt has deep, familial roots in law enforcement. Her grandfather, Jerry Bretthauer, served in Scottsbluff. And her mother, Christina Oliver, started in Beatrice and climbed her way up to the Nebraska Attorney General’s office as a criminal bureau investigator.
Alongside her tasks as SRO, Nesbitt also serves as BPD’s Special Olympics liaison.