On-Campus Officers Provide Glimpse Into School

Student Resource Officers (SRO) are police officers who patrol our halls in addition to our neighborhoods. Although the locations are different, the challenges are not. At our campus, Officer Chris Taylor is the SRO providing the law enforcement presence. He creates a safe learning environment, and is the approachable resource for students and staff who may have law-enforcement questions or concerns.

Some parents who see Officer Taylor don’t realize that he is a fully licensed police officer.

“Sure, I have had parents approach me asking to speak to a cop,” he said. “I just point to my gun and then my badge and say, ‘How can I help you?’”

Working with 2,000 people every day in a fairly small location can present its challenges, too.

“Every day is different, “Taylor said. “One day I might be wrestling a kid to the ground, the next, I may be giving a badge sticker to a kid.”

His nearest colleague is Officer Michael Stewart at Cooper Junior High School who wants for students to have a positive impression of the Police Department.

“We (Ofc. Taylor and Stewart) do not want kids to associate the police with trouble every time they see them,” Stewart said.

Sometimes, though, there are those kids who are in trouble and a police officer is what is needed to stop the problem. Contraband drug-related materials are the most common illegal material found at school, and they require ISS and sometimes arrest.

Having a positive impact on people is what both SROs claimed as the best part of their job, though Taylor and Stewart say family provides the best preparation for being in schools.

“I have been to the basic and advanced SRO schools, hostage/crisis negotiation school, patrol bicycle school, field training officer school, firearms instructor school, Glock and M16 armorers’ school, “ Taylor said. The best training I have had to be an SRO is that I have been married to the same woman for 29 years next July and I have three kids and two grand kids.”

Written by Cathy Steward