By Ryan Stevenson

Poland Regional High School

Being a school resource officer isn’t all what its cracked up to be. Sure, he’s got a police cruiser and he rolls around in either his Mercedes or his new Beetle off duty. Yeah, he gets to wear the badge and gets to carry the sleek 40 caliber. But being an enforcer of the law isn’t a job that falls in your lap, but rather a commitment and something you really enjoy no matter how difficult and challenging it gets.

A once-retired Officer John Collins still continues to stand by the law. After a devastating injury to his foot and ankle he decided that he wasn’t ready to quite be retired. He actually retired from the Portland Police Department in 1992. When he saw in ad in the newspaper looking for a school resource officer with prior experience, training, and all the other nuts and bolts he knew that this job description fit him perfectly. He applied and here he is today: PRHS’s very own School Resource Officer.

Before working for the community of Poland he was on the Portland Police Department for twenty-one years. You could speculate that he’s worked for the police department all of his life but you would be wrong. In the past he has had many other jobs as well. He used to be a leasing manager for a Ford Dealership. He use to be a private investigator who mostly dealt with fraud investigations on workers compensation complaints. “Very boring,” as Mr. Collins put it. And he used to teach his own driving school. Since he used to work for another driving school he wanted to open his own just teaching private lessons. He also worked security for a bank teaching employees how to correctly fingerprint.

You may think Officer Collins is just another cop to spy on people and try to get kids in trouble, but it’s not quite as simple as that. He directly stated that he wanted to be positive role model in our school and dispel any myths that he is here to simply spy on us. During his workday he usually tends to constant theft reports, issues of vandalism, burglary to motor vehicles, statements of harassment, security checks around the building, traffic control, and many other important things. If you ask him what he likes most about his job he will tell you a variety of things. He likes getting to talk with the younger generation and he likes teaching classes. In general, his teaching duties involve going into classes to speak about sexual assault, bullying, harassment, traffic laws, and more.

Besides working the 60 to 70-hour week that he does now he likes to relax and enjoy himself at home when he’s there. You can either find him flying (only in good weather) in small planes or traveling somewhere. No pilots license yet but he’s got his hopes and dreams still. If you can’t seem to find him at home or in the air, he’s probably hanging with his four well-accomplished children: Lynn who is 35, John who is 31, Shannon who is 29, and his youngest Angela who is 16.

Before you pass judgment on any enforcer of the law – think about all that they deal with on a day-to-day basis. Think about how an officer endangers his/her life every day either patrolling the streets of Portland or in the halls of Poland and for who? You!

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