Get to know your Sunnyvale NRO’s
|December 1, 2017||Filed under Community|
Have you met your school’s NRO? In the city of Sunnyvale, Neighborhood Resource Officers, or NRO’s, serve as liaisons between the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS), our schools, and the community. They focus their efforts on community outreach, crime prevention, fire and public safety education, and mentoring youth through a variety of programs. There are a total of four NRO’s. Two are specifically assigned to SSD schools, however, you may see the other two in varying capacities. NRO’s serve anywhere from three to five years before transferring to another specialty.
Officer Eric Fujii: Cherry Chase, Cumberland, Ellis, Vargas, Sunnyvale Middle.
Officer Fujii has been in law enforcement since 1992, and with Sunnyvale DPS since 2001. This is his fourth year as an NRO. He said wants to try to help the community from the beginning by working with kids on making better choices and also by forming better relationships with youth and the community. He has worked with youth in the restorative justice program, taught both traffic and digital safety, and helped mentor youth in the Explorer program, where young adults ages 14-20 get the opportunity to gain hands-on police and fire response training.
“We want the community to know police officers in Sunnyvale are a resource,” Fujii said. “We want to be the ones you turn to for help. We go to great lengths to keep the community safe, and we are here to help.”
Officer Fujii grew up in Berkeley, is married, plays ice hockey for fun, and owns a Weimaraner dog named Atticus.
Officer Raymond Strom: Bishop, Lakewood, Fairwood, San Miguel, Columbia Middle.
This is Officer Strom’s first year as an NRO, however, he is not new to the field with 12 years of experience as a police officer. From gang resistance education to traffic safety, Officer Strom is in our classrooms every day teaching students how to be safe. As an NRO, he gives presentations on a variety of topics from what to do in a lockdown situation to anti-bullying campaigns. NRO’s also put on a lot of events where the community can connect with officers and share what’s going on in their respective neighborhoods. Community members may connect with officers over coffee or even be served by an officer during a Tip-A-Cop event, where DPS officers raise money to donate to the Special Olympics.
“Being an NRO is very rewarding,” Strom said. “You can see how kids look up to you and it gives you hope; you hope to make a difference.”
Officer Strom is a native of San Jose and is married with two children, a 4-year-old and a 7-month-old.
Officer Amy Pistor: Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook, and Monta Vista high schools.
Once your student moves on from SSD, you may likely see Officer Pistor at the high school campuses. She is the NRO for all of the Fremont Union High School District schools. She joined Sunnyvale DPS in 2003. This is her fourth year as an NRO. In addition to supporting the restorative justice, traffic, and Explorer programs, Pistor has lent a big hand to teaching online safety.
“Parents tend to not pay as close attention to what their kids are doing online as they get older,” Pistor said. “We encourage parents to be involved as soon as they give their child an electronic device; give them rules and follow through on what the expectations are into their teen years to help keep them safe.”
Officer Pistor grew up in Mountain View. She is married to a DPS police lieutenant and has three children—a 6, 8, and 10-year-old. She has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is a beekeeper.
Officer Jahari Tracy: Sunnyvale schools in the Cupertino Union and Santa Clara Unified School Districts and private schools.
Officer Tracy has been a part of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety for seven years and has been an NRO for three. He covers Sunnyvale schools in the Santa Clara Unified and Cupertino Union School Districts as well as a few private schools. Tracy focuses on maintaining the general safety of schools. He collaborates with Safe Routes to Schools on traffic enforcement and safety education. He also works with neighborhood associations on crime prevention. Tracy also dedicates his time to the Bigs in Blue Big Brothers Big Sisters of America one-to-one mentoring program.
“What made me want to become an NRO was the Bigs in Blue program,” Tracy said. “I wanted to get into the community and make a difference and get youth back on the right track.”
Tracy grew up in Berkeley and went to Cal Poly. He was a lab chemist before getting into law enforcement. He is married with two children, a 14-year-old daughter, and 10-year-old son.
Lieutenant Jose Ramirez: Oversees the NRO Team.
Lieutenant Ramirez has been with DPS for 20 years and was a detective for 10. You may not see him at the schools but you might catch him at the Gateway Community Center where he founded the Sunnyvale Boxing Club, an after-school program for youth as young as six, conducted through the Sunnyvale Police Activities League. While he has always made a concerted effort to have a positive impact on the community, Ramirez said it is an even bigger focus for him in the “twilight of his career.”
“Growing up in San Jose on the east side I had the opportunity to be involved with rec centers and San Jose PAL where I met coaches and other older adults that mentored me and taught me right from wrong and that hard work pays off,” Ramirez said. “I’m trying to implement the same things that helped me.”
Ramirez encourages community member to get to know Sunnyvale police officers and firefighters at community events, such as the recent Rides for Toys, where community members were asked to donate a new toy for Sunnyvale Community Services and in exchange, they got to ride in a Sunnyvale fire engine. Or community members are encouraged to take part in the Sunnyvale Challenge Team, a group of leaders from more than 40 schools, nonprofits, faith communities and local government who meet monthly to find creative ways to steer youth and families away from the negative influences of gangs and drugs. Lieutenant Ramirez is married with three children, a 27, 13, and 11-year-old.
Also connected to the schools are CSO Norma O’ Connell and Public Safety Specialist Dori Fontaine.
Community Service Officer Norma O’ Connell works with the traffic enforcement team promoting bicycle and pedestrian safety around schools with Safe Routes to Schools. You may see her at the schools as the District embarks on a mapping project working with the community on suggested routes to schools for students. She was born and raised in Santa Clara and has been in law enforcement since she was a teenager when she joined the cadets. She was inspired to become a community service officer by one of her advisors during her time as a cadet.
“I looked up to her and admired her for what she did for the community,” O’Connell said. “I want to do what she did for me.”
Making the Safe Routes to School program sustainable her next big goal, and said she is always looking for volunteers to help with the effort that works to ensure the health and safety of our area’s youth. She is married with a 9-month-old daughter.
Dori Fontaine was hired by Sunnyvale DPS to work as a Public Safety Specialist in the Crime Prevention Unity in August 1998. As part of her assignment, she coordinates the DPS volunteer program, special events and many of the community outreach activities held by the department. She has a passion for working with youth and families and to that end is active in the Sunnyvale Police Activities League, works part-time as a Santa Clara County Transition Support Specialist for Grizzly Youth Academy and volunteers as a therapeutic riding instructor at Dream Power Horsemanship. Born and raised in California, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Japanese. She is married with three children and two grandchildren. Dori loves all animals and has horses, dogs and a pig at her home.
For more information on how to get involved with Public Safety visit: https://sunnyvale.ca.gov/government/safety/community/publicsafety.htm