Wauwatosa Police Officer Tracy Burbach received the Mayor's Award for Exceptional Service at Longfellow Middle School Oct 5 for her work as a school resource officer.
“Officer Burbach just exemplifies this award because of her genuine love of people and genuine connection with the community. She is so good with the kids,” Mayor Kathy Ehley said. "Everybody she connects with, she demonstrates an interest in them and is still very much the authority figure and that is exceptional.”
A member of the Wauwatosa Police Department, Burbach serves as a school resource officer for 10 schools in Wauwatosa, six of which are within the Wauwatosa School District. A school resource officer is a career law enforcement officer who is deployed by a police department to work in collaboration with one or more schools. They build relationships with students and promote a safer school. The goals of the program include providing safe learning environments in our nation’s schools, providing valuable resources to school staff members, fostering positive relationships with youth, developing strategies to resolve problems affecting youth and protecting all students.
Burbach also received the Wauwatosa School District’s Distinguished Service Award earlier this year after school colleagues nominated her for her work with the schools. But she said this event caught her by surprise.
“Truthfully the entire assembly was a blur," Burbach said. "I was overwhelmed and emotional. How did almost 1,000 students, staff and city employees get into our gym without me knowing?
"I didn't hear a word Mayor Ehley spoke; I was still trying to take it all in," she said. "I was honored to be the recipient of the Mayor's award and it was extra special to share the moment with my students and staff at Longfellow.”
Burbach has been in law enforcement for 25 years, a member of the Wauwatosa Police Department since 2009 and started in the school district at Longfellow in 2011.
"I absolutely love coming to Longfellow every day and thoroughly enjoy what I do," Burbach said. "I'm incredibly fortunate to work with some of the best administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, educational assistants, administrative assistants, custodial staff and students in the district."