REGIONAL - Students at North Woods, Tower-Soudan and Northeast Range will see a new face walking their hallways this school year. Deputy Brock Kick has taken over as the schools’ Resource Officer, …
REGIONAL - Students at North Woods, Tower-Soudan and Northeast Range will see a new face walking their hallways this school year. Deputy Brock Kick has taken over as the schools’ Resource Officer, or SRO. He’s a deputy sheriff with St. Louis County, but he has a significantly different mission from a typical deputy.
“It’s not just about law enforcement,” Deputy Kick said. “That’s a small role. I tell the kids I want them to have a fun and safe year.”
Kick said it is a misconception that SROs are in the schools to be the eyes and ears of the sheriff’s department. He said in reality, being a cop is less than 10 percent of the job, and 90 percent of his time is spent mentoring kids as an informal life counselor or in the classroom helping teachers as a guest speaker on topics such as bullying.
“We want kids to run to us, not away from us,” Kick said. “SROs are a resource for parents, teachers and the administration.”
To be a resource, he said he walks the hallways and schools to be a familiar face to the students, and chats with them not only about being safe, but about everyday things like how they’re doing, and or if he spots someone wearing a cool t-shirt.
Kick is a familiar face to the school district. He graduated from the former Cotton School in 2000. He then went on to Vermilion Community College for law enforcement for wildland and wildlife enforcement. After spending two seasons as a ranger in Yellowstone National Park, he worked part-time in Gilbert and Biwabik before becoming a deputy in 2005.
Before the inception of the SRO program three years ago, Kick said he would frequent area schools as needed doing many of the same tasks he will now do full-time.
“I enjoy small-town community policing,” he said. “The schools have been warm and welcoming.”
Aside from being on campus during the school days, Kick said he also plans to attend as many extra-curricular activities at the schools as he can.