Protect and serve
While many people find themselves avoiding police officers at all costs, LPHS students and staff flock to their beloved Student Resource Office–Office McCoy.
McCoy has been a police officer for almost 23 years, but he did not start out that way. McCoy started out as a jail officer at the LaPorte County jail for two years.Then, he was a traffic officer for 16 years until working as the SRO for LaPorte High School for the past five years.
As an SRO, McCoy has many daily tasks. During the school day, McCoy checks the parking lots for car lights left on, patrols the neighborhood to make sure no criminal activity is going on, and, in general protects, the students of LPHS. Although those things are important, the most important thing he does everyday is make connections with all students and mentor them.
“Most of the time I am spending a lot of time building relationships with kids, getting to know them, and bridging the gap between the law enforcement community and the youth,” McCoy said.
As a mentor, McCoy’s main goal is to provide support for students and help them become successful. Many children grow up and never see success in themselves or the adults they are surrounded by. McCoy is an example that a person can become whatever they want, and students look up to that.
McCoy is the only African American man who works at LPHS. Many students admire McCoy because they can relate culturally more to him than any other staff member at LPHS.
“Once President Obama got elected, I started getting really real with people, especially young people. Telling them that they are going to have to have a better excuse now [for not trying to aim for goals] because you have an African American sitting in the highest position. So what’s your excuse? There is none,” McCoy said.
McCoy talks to a large amount of students each and every day. If a student is wanting to have a career in law enforcement or just has questions about the job, laws, or anything, McCoy is always welcome to talk and to be honest. By talking to McCoy for any amount of time, it is easy to come to the realization that police officers are just like anyone else.
“My father has a very strong character and he’s a very gentle, kind hearted man who cares about everyone in a way that makes you feel like you have a place when you’re around him. He’s never exclusive and is always true to himself,” Cedric McCoy, son of Officer McCoy and junior at LPHS, said.
On January 9th, 2018, it was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and just happened to be McCoy’s birthday as well, but he and other officers should be appreciated more than one day a year. Thanks to Officer McCoy and many police officers like him. They risk their lives everyday to protect the citizens of LaPorte, Indiana.
With Officer McCoy working as the SRO at LPHS, the students and staff have a constant champion.