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New SRO combines
teaching and law enforcement
into the perfect job

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A love of teaching and the love of being a police officer has combined to offer Darrick Bruns what he feels is a perfect job opportunity within the Platte County R-3 School District.

Darrick Bruns, has joined the Platte County School District as the new school resource officer. Bruns said his love to teach and his love for law enforcement have combined to make the
SRO position at the school district an ideal job.

Bruns, the newest school resource officer (SRO) in the Platte County R-3 School District, said the "interaction with students" is one of the greatest parts of being an SRO.

"I love teaching and I love being a police officer. Therefore, I get the best of both worlds with this job because I get to teach here," Bruns explained.

"All people have a voice to be heard and sometimes in society we don't listen to our children's voices. I let them know that I will hear their voice and that includes every student from kindergarten to the 12th grade."

During his time as SRO officer, Bruns will teach the students on many different topics and has already implemented a program that gives the students an opportunity to voice their opinion. The program, known as the Breakfast Club, gives Bruns an insight into the students' world and what's going on in their everyday lives. While the club will soon be offered throughout the district, it is currently being held at the middle school.

A friend and former co-worker, Bruce Snodgrass, Platte County 7th grade teacher, helped bring Bruns' love of both worlds to Platte County. A call from Snodgrass told Bruns of the districts opening for an SRO officer.

Prior to moving to Smithville, Bruns worked as an SRO officer for the Cameron School District.

"My wife was offered a job in downtown Kansas City, and it just became too long of a commute to Cameron every day. I felt my job could sustain a move and I was ready for new surroundings, so we moved to Smithville," said Bruns.

Bruns served on the Cameron Police Department for 14 years, with his last 1-1/2 years dedicated to the students in the Cameron School District.

Bruns stated that he originally became involved with the SRO program at Cameron through his connections with the children and families of a Cameron serving as a summer softball/baseball coach.

"Due to my rapport with the children, the police chief of Cameron asked if I would be interested in the position and I accepted."

Prior to serving in Cameron, he also worked as a police officer for seven months in Lathrop. Bruns became a certified police officer in the State of Missouri in 1987 after attending the Air Force.

As the Platte County R-3 SRO, Bruns will be responsible for working all crimes committed on school grounds and will be responsible for building rapport and relationships between the students, staff and law enforcement, especially serving as a liaison between the police department and the schools.

"In my opinion, from what I've seen here kids don't look at this program as a bad thing. Instead, I find the general student population thinks it's a good thing having me here," said Bruns.

"The school's response to the program is very positive," said Bruns. "And the SRO program can be a very uplifting program for a community, but it's all in the way it's run. If it's run properly, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved."