The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Detective Savitsky Shares What It’s Like to Be School Resource Officer

Detective+Savitsky+Shares+What+It%E2%80%99s+Like+to+Be+School+Resource+Officer

Imagine starting each day with the responsibility of providing the security of six schools. Imagine having the duty of ensuring the well-being of all students and teachers. Imagine walking up and down the halls each and every day to make sure that nothing is out of the ordinary. The Student Resource Officer, or SRO, Matthew Savitsky experiences just that, working relentlessly to keep our school protected.

Prior to serving as Tenaflys SRO, Detective Savitsky served 12 years in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of Captain, and completing a tour in Afghanistan. He also became a certified American Safety & Health Institute Instructor and he earned a bachelor degree from Fordham University. In September of 2022, he began his new position as Tenafly SRO, replacing detective Max Werner. 

As the sun rises, Savitsky is already up and on his way to school. There are no cars in sight, the streets are empty and Tenafly is a ghost town. Monday through Friday, every week, Savitsky arrives at school before a single student makes their way through the doors of Tenafly High School. On any given day the work varies. 

“Seeing what needs to be done, finishing up on reports, if a student has an issue or something happened to them: there was a theft, biased related incidents where students were being picked on for either their religion or their race, color, sexual orientation, receiving calls, notes, you know, anonymously—these would be things we would investigate and take very seriously,” Savitsky said. Savitsky’s day is unpredictable. He could be eating lunch and get a call about something that has gone wrong or he could be roaming the halls and get a phone call from his boss to check in on a matter. 

This is not just what goes on in his work at the schools.. When he’s not on duty, he trains for real-life situations that can happen at any second or any day at any of the Tenafly Public Schools. 

When it comes to ensuring safety and maintaining order, the SRO takes on a very important role. The biggest responsibility that goes to an SRO is creating a positive relationship between the SRO and the students. There are many circumstances where a student needs to go to somebody to talk to about an issue and sometimes going to a guidance counselor is not the best option as it may be inappropriate for the situation. For example, Savitsky can give advice for a problem at home or even legal trouble. In addition to helping students, he has a great rapport with the teachers. Many staff members come to him for “issues with stuff or things they want to know, recommendation, tips, tricks,” Savitsky explained. When it comes to safety and order, he said, the SRO’s key duty is fostering a strong connection with everyone who is involved in the school. 

When you think of someone who has the ability to protect a school from danger, the image that comes to mind might be intimidating at first glance. Although police officers may look scary on the outside, when you get to know them you realize that deep down they have a friendly heart. When students walk by Savistky, they see a tall man covered in tattoos and heavy gear from head to toe who is only there to take care of danger and problems in our school. In reality, that tall man who guarantees our protection-is also someone who you can go to when you’re feeling down and need someone to express your feelings to. “Most people are scared of cops including myself,” Savistky said. In order to really fit this job well, you have to be “approachable” and give off a friendly vibe that makes others feel comfortable coming up and talking to you—Savitsky strives to incorporate this vibe into his daily duties. 

 Even though his job is to secure the school, Savitsky is much more than just a security guard. A veteran and highly trained police officer, Matt Savistky is a valuable resource to all of Tenafly’s students and teachers, and we are lucky to have him in our school system to keep us safe. 

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About the Contributors
Ella Plotkin, Staff Writer
Ella Plotkin (’27) is excited to cover stories discussing current events, entertainment and sports. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, lacrosse and basketball. She also likes to travel, listen to music, and spend time with friends.
Amanda Forman, Staff Writer
Amanda Forman ('27) is excited to write many stories about current events and entertainment. She enjoys playing lacrosse and tennis, and hanging out with friends.