In June, Gila County school resource officers Mike Fane and Pete Licavoli were elected to serve on the Arizona School Resource Officers Association (ASROA) board.
Licavoli replaces longtime Payson High School resource officer Dave Vaught of the Payson Police Department, who retired from the force and the ASROA board.
Licavoli works as a school resource officer in Pine-Strawberry, Tonto Basin and Young.
Deputy Licavoli will serve as the Central Arizona region representative, acting as a liaison to the state board and Gila, Maricopa, Graham, Greenlee and LaPaz counties.
Sgt. Fane will serve as treasurer for the ASROA. Fane works in Miami schools.
Due to state budget concerns, the school resource officer program is at risk of being cut. Fane and Licavoli said they are determined to fight for the program.
“The importance of being a positive role model in a young person’s life is an awesome experience for both student and officer,” said Gila County Sheriff John Armer.
“If this program disappears, there is always the possibility that some of these students could turn to a life of crime, drugs and/or alcohol. We don’t want to see that happen.”
School resource officers from around the state attend the ASROA conference in Prescott from June 13-16.
Both Licavoli and Fane said they have seen firsthand the need for school resource officers and the positive influence they can have on students every day.