A new school resource officer is walking the halls of Cleburne High School.
Cleburne Police Officer Robert Thompson was placed at CHS in November. He replaced Officer Kerri Abbott, who had been at CHS since 2006 and is now the community services officer for CPD.
Making a difference in students’ lives is something Thompson said he wants to do while in his position.
“One of the things I like most about it is I can take my time talking to people: parents and kids,” Thompson said.
He’s worked for CPD since 2007, and before that he worked for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
There are some significant differences between working on patrol and at a school, he said.
“The last patrol shift I was on was awesome,” he said. “I had a group of guys that I was working with that were awesome. We worked as a pretty good team. As an SRO, I’m a team of one.”
When he’s not walking through the halls, he’s patrolling the parking lot and directing traffic before and after school around the school zones.
Whether it’s conversing with teachers and staff or encouraging students to do their homework, he said his job is different every day.
“The kids are the best part,” he said. “Kids have a way of talking to you, making you feel important.”
A couple of times a week, he likes to lift weights and workout with some of the students after school in the indoor pavilion.
“They seem to like that,” he said. “We motivate each other.”
CHS Principal Le’Ann Downs said Thompson has been a tremendous asset to the campus.
“I think he’s such a great fit for our district,” she said. “The students and staff and parents respond to him well. He’s very respectful. I think he not only gives CHS a great name, but gives the Cleburne Police Department a great name, too.”
The students, parents and teachers love him, she said.
“He’s a great role model for our kids,” she said. “I think he stands for what our district and for what our community is wanting to be known for, which is a safe place to live and go school and feel supported and welcomed.”
Thompson said he enjoys his job and wants to stay there as long as possible.