There’s a sheriff in town: Deputy Martin patrols the halls

design: Abby Robinson

When thinking of a school, teachers, students, classrooms and principals are the main people who come to mind. However, school resource officers have an important role in the school, too.

At the high school, Deputy Robert Martin is the school resource officer, and he does a lot for the school and community.

When thinking of police, most people think they’re strict, severe and maybe even a little scary. But Martin does not fit into those standards at all: he is the opposite, being kind and jolly, and in fact, that is one of his favorite parts about his job.

“I really like walking around, speaking to the kids, smiling at them and saying goofy stuff to them to make them laugh,” Martin said. “I can do more good by being nice to the kids, and they get a chance to understand what I do and I am just a normal person.”

Martin also loves getting to know kids and watching them grow throughout their years at the high school. Coronavirus affects Martin as it has most people, not allowing him to connect with the students as much as he used to before.

“Every year, I see a bunch of kids leave and a bunch of kids come, but when we take breaks, whether it’s Christmas or Easter, when we come back all my kids have matured meaning they have grown up,” Martin said. “But this year has been the hardest year because when we left, we did the drive by graduation, which was all good, but I didn’t get a chance to see my kids leave and hug them. Now, I can hardly tell who is who because we all wear masks.”

Martin offers a lot to the school on a daily basis, making sure students are safe and comfortable here. He gets to the school as early as possible to make sure everything is set and ready for the students to come in.

“I’m in the front of the building where the main office is, monitoring and smiling at the kids as they are coming in to help someone if they need directions to get somewhere,” Martin said. “When you guys are in first period, then I’ll go to my office and set up the cameras and walk around to check doors to make sure we are set up security wise.”

Martin takes his duty seriously, making sure students are safe at all times. It is easy to see all the effort he puts in to his career, and it makes him very reliable.

“He has created a trusting bond with the staff and students, and is extremely dependable when it comes to issues of safety,” Principal Trond Smith said.

As a deputy, Martin not only works at the school but can also do anything that a normal policeman would be able to do.

“I can work the roads, make arrests, serve warrants, take people up to jail, work in court and write traffic tickets,” Martin said. “I can do anything a regular officer does.”

Other than his career, Martin also has activities he likes to take part in in his free time. For example, he goes to England and Ireland once a year to take part in fighting competitions, but he also helps people here locally.

“I teach the recruits in law enforcement,” Martin says. “I also am a self-defense instructor for the sheriff’s office.”

Students can learn a lot from Martin, his personality and the work he does. He does so much to help the students, and doesn’t overwhelm them.

“I’ve never seen Deputy Martin treat anyone with anything less than kindness and respect,” Mr. Smith said. “Regardless of what choices students may make, Deputy Martin does his best to treat them with dignity and guide them toward better choices next time.”