By CRAIG McTEAR
BERNADETTE Snow has lots of kids to meet and greet in the months ahead.
The senior constable is only a few days into her new job as a school liaison officer, and she has a big area to cover.
Bernadette will visit high schools throughout the Coffs/Clarence region, and she wants to build relationships with school principals, teachers, students and their parents.
She is one of 40 school liaison officers in NSW charged with developing innovative approaches to youth crime.
All are trained in imple- menting crime prevention workshops and other educational programs, as well as providing support to pupils and their principals.
"It's exciting coming to a new area and getting to know the kids," Senior Constable Snow said.
"I'll be working with students at our schools each day to build closer relationships.
"I'll be someone they can talk to about whatever they wish, because I'm here to help," she said.
"If they have any questions, all they need to do is ask.
"I'll be someone they can trust in the community."
Bernadette spent two years as a youth liaison officer at Leichhardt in Sydney, which has given her a great background for her new role.
NSW Police corporate spokesman for crime prevention, Assistant Commissioner Reg Mahoney, said the creation of the school liaison police officer positions was a positive step in addressing youth issues before they turned into more serious crime and anti-social behaviour.
"The launch of the school liaison police further indicates NSW Police are committed to working with the community to reduce crime and build a safer, greater NSW state," Mr Mahoney said.