LEBANON, Missouri- The Lebanon R-3 School District says they have hired Lebanon police officer Jennifer Janko as their new School Resource Officer (SRO). Janko took over the position vacated by Johnny Payne, and started on Monday, April 3. She will be primarily stationed at Lebanon Middle School, but will also serve Maplecrest Elementary and the Hillcrest Education Center.

The district says when the SRO position became available, there were two Lebanon police officers interested in the position. Lebanon Schools and the Lebanon PD piloted a new hiring process and each of the two officers participated in a five week trial period. Officer Vince Ambrose, Lebanon R-3 SRO, spent time with each candidate and oriented them to the position. Following this process, both candidates were interviewed by a panel of school administrators and Lebanon PD leaders. Officer Janko was selected.

When asked why she wanted to be a school resource officer Panko immediately said, “Because I love working with kids. This gives me the opportunity to do that on a positive basis, the district said.

“Officer Janko comes to us with experience working with students in the Rolla school district as a DARE officer,” said Lebanon R-3 Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Brad Armstrong. “She is great with kids and will be an excellent addition to our team.”

Janko was born and raised in Lebanon, and is Lebanon High School graduate. She attended the University of Central Missouri before beginning her law enforcement career. She has been a police officer for 13 ½ years, and previously worked for the Rolla and St. Robert Police Departments before joining the Lebanon Police Department nearly two years ago. Janko has a four-year-old son named Elijah, and a two-year-old son named Joshua, and enjoys spending time with her family as much as possible outside of work.

R-3 staff explained school resource officers help provide a safe school environment for students, staff and visitors, and their positions include many duties such as supervising student behavior and parking lot safety, advising on the district’s safety procedures and crisis management plan, monitoring surveillance and security systems, and acting as a liaison to the Lebanon Police Department, parents, and other community members.

Officer Jennifer Janko