Published on Morgan Hill Life’s website May 10, 2016
By Robert Airoldi
A salute to Morgan Hill police cfficer Jeff Brandon. The MHUSD School Resource Officer was recognized as the Crisis Intervention Officer of the Year at the Fifth Annual Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board’s Community Heroes Awards Ceremony May 4.
At Morgan Hill public schools, Brandon has been diligently working to move away from traditional law enforcement activities, such as writing a citation, when students find themselves in trouble. He instead focuses on providing the children with the services that they need. Brandon is also involved in working with schools to help change the mindset of administrators from punitive measures to restorative measures for students. Instead of punishing students who are in trouble, he looks for ways that students can be helped with the issues they are facing that might impact them in a more positive way than traditional punishment would.
“It’s humbling,” Brandon said about receiving the award. “I don’t do this job for recognition. I do it to help make things better in the community and to help youth before they go too far down the wrong path.”
An example of Brandon’s work can be seen in the successful Restorative Justice program at Martin Murphy Middle School. Suspension rates at Martin Murphy decreased by 40 percent during the first year of the program and 50 percent this year, along those same lines Martin Murphy has also reduced the rate of recidivism by 20 percent. Much of that success can be attributed to the Restorative Justice program which strives to build community and shared values among students.
“The district was very fortunate when officer Brandon was brought on as our School Resource Officer,” MHUSD Superintendent Betando said. “He understands the value of connecting with our youth, getting to the root of their troubles, he shows them respect and in turn garners their respect back. For all that he does for our community, no one could deserve this award more.”
Keep up the good work at our schools, officer Brandon.