As the new School Resource Officer for the Hillview Police Department, I will be responsible for Zoneton Middle School, Overdale Elementary and Brooks Elementary school. My main objective is to ensure the safety of each student, staff member and the buildings. I will be working closely with each school to ensure we are maintaining a very high level of security and safety.
For the day to day tasks, I spend a great deal of time getting to know the students, building relationships and mentor whenever I can. My personality is very carefree and full of humor. Once the students get a feel for who I am as a person it begins to humanize the badge. They need to see and know that they can trust police officers at all times. They need to know they can approach me (and any other police officer) with any issue, problem, question, or just to talk and joke with. I'll even walk around asking educational questions or riddles, with candy as a reward for correct answers.
When I can integrate into the school curriculum, I create classes that deal with many subjects the students may be facing and dealing with today. Some classes I have taught dealt with alcohol and drug abuse, internet safety, gun safety (as well as carrying a BB gun that looks real), and a “Town Hall” type setting where they get to ask me different questions that are on their mind. They can ask questions about laws, our Constitution, or current events. I'm constantly looking for ways for my school to utilize me, and as I tell them, I want them to take the word Resource in School Resource Officer to a new level -- I am and want to be a very useful resource for the schools and students.
I have been in law enforcement for nearly 22 years; I retired from LMPD in 2019. I then went to work for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy. I knew from the 2019 legislation of the School Safety and Resiliency Act that there would be openings for SRO's due to the bill calling for SRO's in all schools. When I found out about this opening with HPD, I immediately inquired about it and put in my application.
This isn't my first time as an SRO. My journey to this position began December 14, 2012, the date of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, CT. This event hit home with me; my daughter Emily was in elementary school herself. I couldn't imagine what those parents, staff and surviving students dealt with and are still dealing with to this day. I knew as a police officer I had to do what I could to prevent a tragedy like this where I worked. So, I immediately met with school principals on my beat that I patrolled and asked if I could perform walkthroughs in their schools to ensure their safety and to make them feel and know they were safe. In 2014, LMPD had opened new SRO positions in which I was awarded one. I worked as an SRO for 5 years before retiring from LMPD after they decided to do away with the SRO position, which leads me to where I am today.
I am ecstatic to be the new SRO and I plan to make the Hillview Police Department, Bullitt County School System, and my assigned schools very proud and happy to have me aboard. I am anxiously awaiting, as most everyone else, for schools to finally reach the point of having 100% in-person schooling. If through my rapport and mentor work I can change the life of one student, just one, then my career has been a success. But I can honestly say my numbers are far more exceeding than just one. I still have past students that I am friends with on social media that still keep contact with me and keep me posted where their life is heading. I call the students "my kids at school", as I care for every single one of them.
One fun fact for the parents, in case their child mentions the name Mr. Clean to them. It is a nickname I was given by my kids at Lassiter Middle School that I was assigned. It was funny to me that the middle schoolers never saw the other grades during the school day, Each grade is kept separated, but yet all of the grades called me Mr. Clean. So if their child ever says Mr Clean did this or that today, it's just me.
I look forward to working with your students,