Law Enforcement Agency: Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

How long have you worked in law enforcement? I started in June of 2003 working in the jail at the Sheriff’s Office. There was an opening at Shirley School District as a resource officer and I took the position in January of 2006.

Why did you become a SRO?  I enjoyed working with kids and wanted to spend more time with my own kids. I also wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives.

What school/school district do you currently serve? Shirley School District

What do you find most challenging about working on a school campus? For me, it is basketball season. It makes for long days and short nights.

What do you find most rewarding about working on a school campus? The love of the kids.  Even when they get in trouble, they still look up to you and respect you.

What has surprised you the most about working with kids? Kids will say and tell the darndest things. Some go through a lot at home but they are very resilient.

Are there any programs/techniques that you feel have been helpful and effective in creating a safe learning environment? When the training went from waiting for backup to solo entry.  That has been some of the most informative training.

What advice would you give to a first-year SRO?  You will have many bosses. You need to be able to get along with everybody. Your job is all about the kids. Education is top priority. You are there so they have a safe learning environment. Also, you are their mentor. Always do what is right.

What do you do when you aren’t working? I love walking and spending time with my wife. I volunteer at our fire department and enjoy fishing. I also like to work on vehicles or anything else that needs fixing.

If you weren’t a police officer, what would you be doing instead? I would want to be a firefighter. I am a volunteer firefighter now and enjoy helping people.