Barbara Alenckis will bring a smile and a trained police presence to her new role as Region 12's school resource officer.

Alenckis will start Sept. 29. She will retire Sept. 24 from the Waterbury Police Department.

"I wanted to wind down a bit from my 18 years on the police force in Waterbury," said Alenckis, a sergeant and detective.

"I've always loved teaching. Now I'm the community relations officer teaching stranger danger and drug and alcohol facts in Waterbury schools."

Alenckis also is an instructor at the police academy in Waterbury.

She will be a young retiree from the Waterbury force. She has taken her 10 years' service in the United States. Air Force and combined it with her years in Waterbury to achieve an early retirement.

"I want to instill a sense of serving their community in the kids. It's important to give back for the greater good," Alenckis said. "My own (four adult) children are all working in community service positions, with the exception of my youngest, who is still in high school."

Alenckis also hopes to teach Internet safety and teen dating safety at Shepaug Valley School, along with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education classes she will teach in the region's three elementary schools.

"I have a lot of ideas," she said. "I'm hoping to slowly integrate some classes as I co-teach with certified teachers."

Superintendent of Schools Pat Cosentino said Alenckis will be a perfect fit for the region.

"We're very excited," Cosentino said. "Ms. Alenckis comes with a wide range of experience and is a self-starter and go-getter. She excited about the challenges ahead. She'll be a great addition to our school community."

Shepaug Valley School Principal Kim Gallo took part in the interview process for the new SRO.

"I love what Ms. Alenckis had to say about kids," Gallo said. "I think she'll be a great role model, especially for our girls. She's very enthusiastic."

Those feelings are mutual.

"I'm excited to join the team and hope I can make the children feel safe and comfortable, instill the importance of serving. The more we realize the benefits of what we do for others, the better our world will be," Alenckis said.

Alenckis will be sworn in as an officer in the region's three towns -- Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.

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