Thursday, July 23, 2015

Feature: School Resource Unit, Deputy Kean

From Military To Deputy, Best Assignment To Date

By Heather Benjamin, Mesa County Sheriff's Office

Start in Tennessee and go around the world in a 10 year time span. As a teen, Wayne Kean, went into the Navy in 1989, going on to serve in the First Gulf War. His naval unit was attached to the USS Doyle, from 1991-96. (The USS Doyle was a commissioned ship for 28 years, retiring in 2011.)

MCSO Photo: Deputy Wayne Kean
July 2015
"I've only had two real jobs in my whole life," Deputy Wayne Kean said. He added after 10 years in the Navy he has 17 years of service with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. He is content with this employment path that now spans nearly 30 years.

When Deputy Kean left the Navy, he landed in Mesa County and within a few months was a detention deputy. He worked in the jail until 2006, when he was transferred to patrol.

His most current assignment?

School Resource Officer (SRO) covering schools in the Redlands, Appleton and from Loma to Gateway.

"My schools are spread out and I have more schools assigned to me..." than the other SROs at the Sheriff's Office. "But, I have the least call load," referring to dispatch directing him to schools for specific incidents.

He often works with Fruita Police Department and his most memorable school issues have dealt with bears and a mountain lion on school grounds. (Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)

The first few days of school always have parents out of sorts in the pick-up lines and kids getting on the wrong bus or going home with friends. Deputy Kean expects a few calls from frantic parents in those early days of school going back into session, where their child wasn't on the bus home or didn't get off the bus at the correct stop. Within a few days, those issues work themselves out, he said.

Over the summer, he has ran into kids from his schools at the Mesa Mall and downtown Farmer's Market. Most are truly excited to see him and want a hug.

"When the kids hug me, I want to make sure parent's know who I am," he said, with a chuckle. The kids know who he is, but the parents usually don't. There can be an awkward moment or two until I introduce myself, he said.

His focus as a new school year starts? 

To continue to develop relationships and impact these kids in a positive way, he said. And, when football season starts he will insist the Broncos are a golf team whenever kids cheer for the blue and orange. Well, that's what he tells the kids anyway, because, clearly...he isn't a Denver Bronco fan.

You can email Deputy Wayne Kean, at:

Tips From School District 51 Officials--

  1. Lists of school supplies:
  2. Student/Parent Handbook & Athletic forms:
  3. Enrollment and Registration:
  4. Student Transportation:

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:
  • Plan ahead for transportation: how will your child get to and from school
  • Apply for free and reduced lunch:
  • 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. is the central repository of information.