School Resource Officer, Ricky Gonzales, helps keep students safe


Aubrey Nicholls, Staff Reporter

   School Resource Officers, also known as SROs, are present on many school campuses, including many Cherry Creek School District schools. One notable SRO is Cherokee Trail’s SRO, Officer Ricky Gonzales. 

   Officer Gonzales has been an SRO at Cherokee Trail since 2017; however, before he joined this position he served in the military, “I did that to serve my country and when I got done with that I just wanted something else that I can do serving my country and also something I could be proud of. At the end of the day I go home and feel like I made a difference,” said Officer Gonzales.

   While becoming an SRO seems like a long and intricate process, it is relatively straightforward. Officer Gonzales explained, “When an opening became available for the SRO position, our department puts out an email letting us know that there’s an open spot. So then I had to put in a memo of interest, saying that I want to do this job and saying why I would be good for [the position], and then, from there, they gave me an interview and I had to interview for my position.”

   SROs are placed in schools for many different reasons. Officer Gonzales gives an example of how they work with the schools and their staff to help us have an understanding of what SROs do, “If there’s any criminal activity that goes on within the school, we collaborate with the schools to decide whether we would take charge on the investigation,” said Officer Gonzales. 

   Officer Gonzales also explains why officers are placed in schools for more reasons than just safety, “Bridging the gap and letting kids know that police officers are people and that we’re actually pretty cool and fun to be around…We’d like to get to know all you guys”. 

   In addition, he speaks on how he hopes to impact the students within the school, “I hope to impact them by letting kids know that police officers are people and letting them know that despite what they see on the news because the news is only gonna show the bad stuff,” said Officer Gonzales. “Let them know that there are good officers out there and officers that can be trusted.”

   For seven years and counting, Officer Gonzales has been at Cherokee Trail so there are bound to be some memories that stand out from his time at the school. “I’ve had kids who have come through the school or they’re already out of the school, they’ve actually seen me out in town and they stopped me to say how they really appreciated how I treated them,” said Officer Gonzales, “So there’s people, kids, that I actually dealt with and just knowing that even through a situation where someone has gotten in trouble, they still feel that I treated them with enough respect that it made a difference to them,”