Are you retiring from just J-D or as a police officer as a whole?
I am actually completely retiring as a police officer after 20 years of service.
What did and did not work well for you in the SRO position?
The SRO position as a whole is a great position. It’s a huge transition after doing 17 years on patrol, but you get used to it. So many things about it worked well. The schedule is great and working with the students each day and watching them grow is awesome. To be honest, the students and staff made this position easy. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with. People were so supportive of this position, even on the toughest days.
What have been your best memories and/or greatest accomplishments at J-D?
The past three years have been some of the best years of my career. I have created so many great friendships with staff and students alike, several [of which] I am confident will continue even after I retire. I love working at the sporting events, dances, musicals and graduation and being able to see all the students having fun and doing what they love.
More than anything though, I love being able to mentor and guide students. I am extremely proud when kids come and tell me what they will be doing after graduation, whether it be college, the military, or a job. I have always said that if I can help one kid stay on the right track and accomplish something, then it was a good year.
Some of my accomplishments have been to begin to integrate the “Stop the Bleed” national initiative into the high school, address some safety and security issues within the school, and also to introduce the SRO program into the district. I was also able to organize a holiday toy drive with tremendous help from other officers. We were able to donate toys and gift cards to over 25 J-D district families.
I’ve worked hard to be visible in the schools as much as possible and present to different classes, especially at the elementary level in order to help bridge that gap between the police and the community. I hope whoever follows me will be able to continue to do the same.
What have been the toughest situations you’ve had to deal with at this school?
Some of the toughest situations at school are always involving my students. It’s hard to see kids struggling, whether it be mentally or emotionally. I’ve heard stories that are heartbreaking and frustrating. It’s tough, but we do what we can to support them.
How could the SRO position be supported more effectively in the future?
I hope that the SRO position will continue to be supported, and even be supported more. I am confident that people will see the value of having police officers in the schools and that it is for so much more than just safety. The program has so much potential and such an important piece of the district. I hope that in the future we can grow the program to have more SROs in the district and continue to positively impact our kids.
What are your plans post-retirement?
I am planning to spend more time with my family when I retire. My kids are all busy with lacrosse and baseball, so it will be great to be around a little more. I’m also looking forward to spending some more time at our camp over the summer. I will definitely find something else to do come fall, so you guys may be seeing me around!