Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Feature: School Resource Unit, Deputy Searcy

He Has the Energy & Enthusiasm

By Heather Benjamin, Mesa County Sheriff's Office

MCSO Photo: Deputy Chadd Searcy
July 2015
Deputy Chadd Searcy left the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office to pursue children's ministry from 2007 to 2013.

But two years ago, he returned to patrol and then within the last year he joined the school resource unit as a School Resource Deputy.

"I stay plenty busy," he said.

Searcy’s schools include Mt. Garfield and Lincoln Orchard Mesa Middle Schools and Clifton, Rocky Mountain and Chatfield Elementary Schools.

"All of my assigned elementary schools are Title 1, meaning the majority of kids and families in those schools qualify for free or reduced lunch," Searcy said.

Truancy and parent disputes are common issues he handles throughout the school year. He has also dealt with students bringing drugs such as marijuana and prescription pills to school.

Another area on which Searcy focuses is the safety of mentally and physically handicapped students. They can wander off, be destructive or hurt themselves or other students. These are some of the job duties many people don’t think about when it comes to school resource officers.

Fortunately, Searcy has strong relationships with school staff members.

“We work as a team," he said.

Searcy spends time teaching school staff members about what qualifies as a criminal violation, and he assists in delivering appropriate discipline for non-criminal charges. This works best when there is good communication between the School Resource Officer and the school staff, he said.

"We get creative in handling situations,” he said, “because they aren't always criminal (violations). And I enjoy having that team (relationship) with the school district employees."

The best part of his day?

"Going to my elementary schools,” he said. “You are their hero!"

And how long will he be a School Resource Officer?

"Until they won't let me do it anymore," he said. "I love working with the kids. The best thing is having a position of influence in a kid's life. That is why I do this job. Why I enjoy it."

A little background on Deputy Searcy:

"I was 17 when I went into the Marines,” he said. “It was eight days after I graduated high school and while in boot camp, I celebrated my 18th birthday."

It’s not everyone's dream birthday celebration, but for Searcy, the Marines gave him the ambition to develop a career. Before the Marines, he asked himself, "What will I do after high school?"

In his teens, one day he saw a shiny new Ford Bronco with Sheriff's Office stickers.

“I knew instantly that I wanted to a cop," he said.

Searcy served four years in the Marine Corps before returning to Grand Junction where he attended a local Police Academy on evenings and weekends. He graduated from the program and applied with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

"They wanted experience (for patrol deputies) so, they offered me a position in the jail," Searcy said.

That was March 1998.

This summer, besides working special assignments such as the Mesa County Fair, he also checked in on some students.

"I visited homes of kids this summer who I built rapport with," he said.

He wants them to know he truly cares about them and that they can trust him.

You can contact Deputy Chadd Searcy at Chadd.Searcy@mesacounty.us

Tips From School District 51 Officials--

  1. Lists of school supplies: https://connect.d51schools.org/sites/shared/Pages/Student-Fees-and-Supplies.aspx
  2. Student/Parent Handbook & Athletic forms: https://connect.d51schools.org/sites/shared/Pages/Forms.aspx
  3. Enrollment and Registration: https://connect.d51schools.org/sites/shared/Pages/registration.aspx
  4. Student Transportation: https://connect.d51schools.org/sites/shared/Pages/transportation.aspx

Back to School Checklist:

  • Register your child at their attendance-area school, birth certificate required
  • Have all required immunizations completed, available at Mesa County Health Department: http://health.mesacounty.us/clinics/template.aspx?id=3409&ekfxmensel=effecfb86_201_203
  • Plan ahead for transportation: how will your child get to and from school
  • Apply for free and reduced lunch: https://www.applyforlunch.com/Application
  • Look at lunches for the week and plan lunches from home
  • Pick-up school supplies
  • Have a fashion show and select clothes the night before
  • Transfer the school calendar to your family calendars
  • Reset sleep schedules and make sure kids get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Practice your morning routine to make it fun and exciting
  • Plan time to meet your child’s teacher, but set an appointment if you need to discuss any specific issues or concerns

A comprehensive guide will distribute through the Sentinel and individual schools have/will contact registered parents directly. www.d51schools.org is the central repository of information.