Ex­pand­ing knowl­edge on the job

Deputy Na­talie Hi­dalgo hopes to mo­ti­vate stu­dents in a pos­i­tive way with new role

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Christina Cox Sig­nal Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of six pro­files of the six School Re­source Of­fi­cers that work in schools through­out the Santa Clarita Val­ley.

Deputy Na­talie Hi­dalgo is Santa Clarita’s new­est School Re­source Of­fi­cer as she be­gan her role at Golden Val­ley High School, La Mesa Ju­nior High School and Se­quoia School in Septem­ber.

Dur­ing her six years with the Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s Department, Hi­dalgo has worked in sev­eral dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the department in­clud­ing field work, counter work, iden­tity theft re­ports, pa­trol, dis­patch and calls.

“I’ve been lucky that I’ve worked dif­fer­ent parts

of the department or the sta­tion,” Hi­dalgo said. “This [act­ing as a SRO] will just ex­pand my knowl­edge on ju­ve­niles now which will be great.”

Hi­dalgo first be­came in­ter­ested in the po­si­tion when a deputy ap­proached her about the open­ing and asked her if she wanted to ap­ply.

“Of course I’m go­ing to jump on any new op­por­tu­nity so I can try some­thing dif­fer­ent and have a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence so I ap­plied for it and got it,” she said. “I’ve worked with the Ex­plorer Pro­gram and, in gen­eral, the youth is some­thing I’ve al­ways wanted to work with.”

Be­fore she be­gan her

new role as SRO, Hi­dalgo sought ad­vice from the area’s other five SRO deputies.

“All of them have helped me out and been so great with this,” Hi­dalgo said. “The deputies all gave me their two cents on what to do and not to do.”

Dur­ing her first week on the job, Hi­dalgo made her­self avail­able to the stu­dents and in­ter­acted with each school’s ad­min­is­tra­tion so she could fa­mil­iar­ize her­self on each cam­pus.

“It’s been great. Ev­ery­one’s been to­tally nice and open, and the kids come up to me which is awe­some,” she said. “I’m try­ing to throw my­self out there as much as pos­si­ble and mak­ing sure I’m ap­proach­able, if any­one wants to talk to me I’m

avail­able to talk to.”

As an SRO, Hi­dalgo hopes to spend time at each of the schools every day and mo­ti­vate stu­dents in a pos­i­tive way.

“Hope­fully [I can] be a lending hand and help­ing kids who have trou­ble, that’s what I’ve been do­ing so far with the kids,” she said. “If you have any prob­lems come up to me and we can try to re­solve them.”

Hi­dalgo is also from the area, hav­ing at­tended Va­len­cia High School, Col­lege of the Canyons and CalS­tate LA where she earned her bachelor’s in po­lit­i­cal science.

“I’ve al­ways taken in­ter­est in law and got a BA in po­lit­i­cal science. I love law, it came easy for me to un­der­stand,” she said. “I’m go­ing for my mas­ter’s right now in crim­i­nal jus­tice.”

Katharine Lotze/The Sig­nal

School re­source of­fi­cer Na­talie Hi­dalgo in front of the gym at Golden Val­ley High School, where she was re­cently as­signed.

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