Written by Jordan Windhorst, Emma Kafka, and Melia Donner
Photos provided by Hallie Montgomery
In this day and age, protection anywhere is drastically growing in importance. When it comes to protecting a school full of children, Officer Craig Richey dedicates a large part of his life making sure that the people in Lebanon High School are secure at all times. In 2018, Lebanon High School welcomed Richey as the school resource officer.
Officer Richey went through regular police academy training and started his career as a jail officer. His training allowed him to have the same powers as a normal police officer would. He soon moved to working in schools because he felt that it was a fitting placement for him. Here at LHS, RIchey appreciates the laid-back yet challenging environment where he could simultaneously meet students around campus while protecting them at the same time.
Officer Richey’s duties in a normal day to day setting include patrolling around the school and the parking lots, checking emails, staying updated with the administrators, and hanging around the commons before and after school.
“My schedule is pretty wide open and I am almost always available to chat with students. It gives me the freedom to float around and have the opportunity to interact with everyone,” said Officer Richey.
Due to the recent influx of school shootings that have swept the nation at a rapid pace, many children and even staff have been afraid to go to school. Richey says that this is the last thing he wants students at LHS to feel, and he would do anything to prevent that. He says that he goes into his job every day with a “warrior attitude”.
“The system is continuously evolving to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We do not want to overdo it with security because we want student to feel comfortable when they are in the building, while still feeling protected,” said Officer Richey.
When it comes to protecting students from potential threats, Richey stresses the importance of preventing them at the source. Having seen the travesty that happened in Noblesville in May of last year, he noted how vital anonymous tip lines in schools actually are. He also mentioned that the technology that the school offers such as security cameras and the automatically-locking doors makes his job much easier.
“Each tip is taken seriously, no matter how little it may be. In the occurrence of a school shooting you must make the decision best for you. If you choose to barricade, block the door with every single thing that is not drilled into the floor. We can replace anything in the room, but we cannot replace you,” said Officer Richey.
One of Officer Richey’s goals this year is to become more involved with everyone throughout the school.
“There are so many activities that I want to support and I would like to get to know the students even better this year. My favorite part of coming to school is that there is something new every day,” said Officer Richey.
Officer Richey plans on staying at Lebanon High School in the future because the hours are flexible and he enjoys having the summer off where he has time to get in more training.
“I love it here, there is nowhere like it. I am getting married in November and I am glad to have a job that leaves more time for family than the average officer would have,” said Officer Richey.
Among many aspects of keeping the school safe, Richey enforces widespread communication between staff and students, whether that be regarding safety issues or not.
“The door is always open, whatever you guys need I am here. I am not just here for the bad,” Richey said.