Helping keep our school safe.
October 1, 2015
Decked out in a full police officer uniform, complete with handcuffs and a gun, the sight of Officer Avery Jones strutting out of his office in F Hall might be slightly intimidating to students, especially freshmen. There’s nothing to be afraid of, though, as Officer Jones’ job to keep the school safe is one he loves and does with passion.
Officer Jones decided to become a police officer when he was 18 years old with dreams of becoming an Ill. State Trooper. In Illinois, however, one has to either have military experience or be 21 years old to become a police officer, leading Officer Jones to a military officer position where he remained for 27 years. After the military, he joined the Frisco Police Department, and a few years later decided to move to high school to become a Student Resource Officer (SRO).
Officer Jones’ typical day is not much different from a regular police officer, except instead of patrolling the streets he patrols the halls of Centennial.
“First I pick up my vehicle, then come to school, monitor the halls, and view reports from the weekend to see if any kids were involved, and monitor lunch activity,” Officer Jones said. “It’s pretty much just a lot of walking and monitoring.”
Monitoring the halls is not as easy as it sounds, as danger can loom around every corner and appear at any minute. Officer Jones says it’s a police officer’s job to consider any situation to be dangerous.
“Each and every day presents a danger within itself, I can’t describe it because every situation is different, and it’s always dangerous,” Officer Jones said. “Whenever I show up I bring danger itself to the situation, so my job is to de-escalate things, but every situation is danger within itself. If someone calls the police, there’s an inherent danger.”
Officer Jones says helping kids is what keeps him going.
“It’s an opportunity to change one life and have one less kid be involved in the criminal justice system,” Officer Jones said. “I enjoy getting up and coming to work every day.”
However, it isn’t always easy to get kids to do the right thing.
“The most challenging aspect of my job is trying to get kids to make good decisions,” Officer Jones said. “To not ruin their life before they have an opportunity to start it.”
Recently, the Frisco PD announced that they will be expanding their use of body cameras on high school SROs. Despite the addition, Officer Jones says that won’t be changing how he handles business.
“Cameras can only help you anytime you do your job and do it to the best of your ability,” Officer Jones said. “A camera can only help you do that job and reinforce what you’re putting down on paper.”
If given the opportunity, Officer Jones wouldn’t change much about the campus as he said Centennial is a safe place. However, some more cameras around the school would be a helpful addition.
“As far as changing anything, it’s whatever I can do to enhance the security of the campus and add more cameras around the outside of the campus,” Officer Jones said. “I think it’s a safe campus, and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Despite the inherent presence of danger, bullets aren’t something an SRO generally encounters. Still, it would be pretty nice to be able to stop them.
“If I could have one superpower it would be the ability to stop bullets,” Officer Jones said. “To me that would be the most important thing, so I could be safe.”