'I'm here for their kids' | Community Profile
By KATIE SCHMIDT
Mercer Island Reporter Intern
September 30, 2010 · Updated 11:19 AM
Who he is: Chad Schumacher, School Resource Officer with the MIPD at Mercer Island High School.
How long have you been a police officer: I’ve been with the MIPD for three years, and before that I was with Washington State Patrol for a year and a half as a cadet.
Where are you from: I went to high school in Colorado and college in Idaho.
How did you get 'picked' for the SRO job: I went through an interview process with the police department and the school district, and they gave me the job. I took over in July, and we have a four or five-year rotation for this position.
What does a SRO do? Are you on campus all day: Well, my job has quite a lot to it. One of my main responsibilities is being in the school, so I spend a lot of time being available to the students and the staff. I teach classes on bullying and things, and teachers can request that I come in to talk about a certain topic. I also do counseling, and I’m the juvenile detective, so when anyone under 18 commits a crime or anything, I look into that. I try to be on campus a lot. I think that’s a really valuable part of my job.
What is your most important responsibility: Creating the relationship between the police and youth of the Island. In some areas, youth see us as bad people out to get them. I want to change that.
Is it ever hard to carry out law enforcement in schools when you've gotten to know the students: That’s one of the troubles you have because you’re like, I know this is a good kid. But I still have to do my job.
What is the most challenging part of your job: I also investigate child protective services reports, and when I have a child victim, I think those are the most challenging of all.
What aspect of your job do people need to know about or understand: I always get kind of odd looks from parents at school because I’m in uniform. They’re like, why are the cops here? What’s going on? I want them to know that I’m here for their kids, and their kids can always come talk to me if they want to.
Do you have any funny stories about things that have happened to you at work: Not yet. If you come talk to me in a year or two, I’ll probably have all sorts of them.