You probably won’t find someone who is more passionate about their job than Corporal Kevin Brantley. Cpl. Brantley currently acts as a School Resource Officer at Chasco Woods Middle School and there is nothing else he’d rather be doing. He joined the Sheriff’s Office eight and a half years ago!
“I always wanted to be a school teacher, but I then changed my mind and wanted to be a cop,” said Cpl. Brantley. “So then as soon as I became a Deputy, I always wanted to become an SRO—it’s my thing, it’s my passion.”
He started as a dispatcher and then moved to road patrol for about two years. After two years in the street, he got into the schools as an SRO where he has been working now for 6 years! Before he became an SRO, he would shadow current SROs and even became a football coach at one of the local high schools.
“I think it’s the most rewarding job in the Sheriff’s Office,” said Cpl. Brantley. “To me, this is the most impact you can make in a community- working with these kids.”
Cpl. Brantley runs a program for “at risk” children. The schools and guidance counselors at local elementary schools pick children these “at risk” youth. Cpl. Brantley creates a curriculum based off the Gang Resistance, Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Course and customizes it to fit the needs of these children.
“The idea is that I already know who these kids are before they even step foot on my campus. So I’ll already have a relationship with them and know how to handle their triggers,” he said.
SRO’s often deal with cases involving child abuse, sexting and fights at school.
“The hardest part about being an SRO is when one of the kids breaks the law,” says Cpl. Brantley. “It’s just the disappointment. It makes it tough since I have these relationships with them.”
Having an SRO in the school is beneficial to students because that is at least one member of law enforcement that these students trust. He believes that because of the relationships he has built students are more willing to talk to him about their problems—relationships that road patrol can’t build going from call to call.
“Because of the relationship, I’ll have kids say ‘hey, I feel like I want to hurt myself’ or ‘hey, this is going on in my house,” said Cpl. Brantley. “If I was just a street cop I couldn’t’ get all this intel because I wouldn’t have built the foundation.”
Despite not being in a traditional law enforcement role, Cpl. Brantley loves what he’s doing. Although many aspire to move up the ranks, Cpl. Brantley says he would love to stay in this position until he retires!