New Staff Interview: School Resource Officer Higgins

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New Staff Interview: School Resource Officer Higgins

Alex Volkerijk, Writer

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Officer Higgins is the new school resource officer here at Shawnee High School. The Renegade Report asked him some questions about his previous experience, his personal life, and what he brings to our school.

Where did you go to college?

“I received an associates degree from Camden County College in Criminal Justice in 1996.  I then attended Rowan University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree also in Criminal Justice in 1998.”

 

Are you married? How Long? Kids?

“I’ve been married to my wonderful wife for 18 years. We have three children named Aidan (16), Liam (14), and Aislynn (12).”

 

Where was your first job?

“I like many teenagers worked several jobs as a teenager.  My first work experience came at a rental store located on Long Beach Island. From there I worked in different part-time jobs to help me get through college. In regards to police work, I started my career working as a summer police officer in Sea Isle City.  Eventually, I put myself through a full-time police academy class in Gloucester County and was immediately hired upon graduation by the Medford Township Police Department.  I have been with Medford Police for 19 years.  During my career, I have been a patrolman, detective, corporal, and spent a brief time as a hostage negotiator for our SWAT team.”

 

Did you like your school experience?

“I thoroughly enjoyed both my high school and college experience. I found that those experiences were some of the most wonderful times of my life.  If I could give any piece of advice to a current student, is to enjoy every moment of the ride.  You may not feel like it now, but four years fly by in a blink of an eye.  Be involved with school activities. Go out of your way to meet, and be a part of different groups.  Don’t be afraid to try new adventures.  These are the things that shape you as a person, and help prepare you for the next chapters of your life.”

 

What are your hobbies?

“Most of my time spent away from work, like most adults, is spent enjoying my family.  We are a huge sports family, as all three of my children play soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and street hockey.  There is no better way for me to spend my off time than watching my children play on the athletic field.  Personally, even though I am old, I still play street hockey for several different men’s leagues.  I think this helps me to stay young at heart even though my body likes to remind me how old I truly am getting.  I also love movies, and enjoy a good action/adventure or comedy on the big screen.”

 

How do you like Shawnee?

“I do not like Shawnee I LOVE SHAWNEE.  This place is awesome! And I’m not just saying this, I truly believe it.  When I first decided to step into this new role, I was honestly a little apprehensive.  I was not sure how the faculty and staff would receive a new person into their environment.  It did not take long for me to feel welcomed.  Everyone inside the building has been warm, and open to me.  It feels like a family here.  I do not need to walk far to get a “Good morning”, or “How are you doing?”  My goal when I decided to become an SRO, was to come into the school, and assure the students and staff that their safety is my number one priority.  I also strive to become a positive role model for everybody and want everyone to know that my door is always open if you need to come down and talk to me.  This could be during good times, and bad.  I also want students to realize that police officers are human beings first, and that a trusting relationship can be built between us.  So if you see me in the hallway, don’t be afraid to say hi.”

 

What did you do over summer break?

“This past summer was low key for me.  When I wasn’t working, I hung around with the kids, and just relaxed.  It helps that my wife’s parents have a pool, so mostly I sat around and cooled off there.  That was in between a few soccer tournaments I went to for my kids.”

 

Your favorite food?

“My two absolute favorite foods are pizza and fries.”

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