ASHLAND -- Ashland City School District's school resource officer's attempt to connect with students got an incredible upgrade approximately three weeks ago.
The Edison Elementary School's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) surprised Officer Jeremy Jarvis with a pair of Hulk gloves to use as he greets students every morning with his routine fist bumps, and since then, he's received regional attention for his efforts.
"I had saw a lot of kids didn't necessarily trust police officers. I could tell they were unsure of police officers," Jarvis said. "So when I came here, I wanted to make it so they weren't afraid of police officers. I wanted them to know officers are here to help you and protect you, and if they need help, kids shouldn't be afraid of approaching a police officer."
Officer Jarvis was hired as the district's school resource officer in February 2018 and has worked to build trust between students and himself ever since.
He'd initiate conversations with students in the hallways and visit classrooms, but his simple "good morning" fist bumps seemed one of the most effective ways to connect with students. They'd smile, laugh and go on with their day.
According to Edison Elementary School principal Krist Manley, the PTO wanted to recognize Jarvis for officer appreciation day. Parents and teachers suggested something for his fist bumping, and the idea to buy him Incredible Hulk gloves emerged.
"He is such a positive person, positive role model, a superhero to the kids," Manley said. "He genuinely cares about them, and he really wants to have a positive presence with the kids, so they aren't afraid of police officers."
Jarvis immediately began wearing the gloves. He says they are especially convienent for the cold weather.
"They keep my hands warm, and they actually move. I had never seen anything like it before," Jarvis said.
He says he's pleased with the ongoing relationships he's built with students since 2018 and believes the Hulk gloves will break down further barriers -- particularly for younger students.
"I'm very happy with the way this year is going because I've had some students come up to me and tell me things, and it helps me get out ahead of things," Jarvis said.
Jarvis splits his time between Ashland High School, Middle School and the district's three elementary schools during the school year. He spends the summer months working as a detective for the Ashland Police Department.