School Resource Officer Jeff Schremp

Story by: Julia Engebretson

WAUSAU, WI (Student Journalism Project-WSAU) – Almost every student today goes to a school that’s actively patrolled by a police officer. School resource officers have special training, and a special passion for the jobs. Officer Jeff Schremp is a police officer at Wausau West Highschool whose duty is to take care of students. Officer Schremp brought up some eye-opening topics that should be shared with the community. There are a bunch of prejudiced thoughts around police officers in general not to mention our police officers that serve our community. The newest generation of people is experiencing events in school that not many others have. Other generations may not understand school police officers or their duties. Mr. Schremp does not only explain his duties but his intentions as a SRO (Student Resource Officer).

Officer Schremp has been a police officer for 15 years, seven of which were at WWHS. Officer Schremp’s dad was police chief in Rothschild, and said his time as the DARE officer was his favorite part of the job. His other inspiration was his SRO at DC Everest, “he got to know the kids and personality-wise he was a great guy.”

Being positive makes a big difference. Everything is so much better in the schools and it’s positive and there’s a lot of great things. You get to see these kids come in as freshmen and they have no clue what they’re doing- and you get to see them grow up and then they graduate and then you see them move into adulthood and it’s a really great experience. “Working patrol and regular police duty work there are a lot of negatives. People don’t call the cops when they’re having a good day, they call when they’re having a bad day so it gets very repetitive of seeing those negative things. Then to leave that and come here where it’s like a total 360 and now it’s a lot of positive things and that is great.”

Positivity is not the first thing that comes to mind when society hears the word “police officer”. Mr. Schremp is greatly appreciated at Wausau West High School.

An SRO’s job is simple: to keep students safe. “We’re here for obviously the safety and security- if bad things happen if an armed person comes in here and shoots up the school then there’s somebody here but it’s more to serve as a counselor to kids that’s why we’ve got the therapy dog where we help with the counseling part of it. In education, they’ll have me teach some classes whether it’s talking about loss prevention in the school store or history class or all these things. We let them know that- “hey, cops aren’t all bad, we’re here to protect you. I’m just a normal person like everybody else and you can come in and tell me about your day.

His smile shows he cares: “I don’t care if a kid is having a bad day and they want to blow up on me and then whatever I’ma sit down and take the time I don’t care if it takes a couple of hours to talk them down and figure out what’s going on. There’s ways of dealing with kids when they are upset, I feel towards myself and the administration at the school, we’re pretty good at dealing with kids like that in getting that respect for they know “hey this is having a bad day, they’re gonna act like this for half an hour, but we are going to talk through it and you’re not going to jail- and life goes on.” Officer Schremp wakes up every morning ready to protect every single one of his students.

The job of an SRO is evolving and he says “It’s definitely an evolving program, statewide as for resource officers- even throughout the country. I know there’s a lot of negative publicity sometimes where you see cops throwing kids out of school and all that- that’s what we don’t want. Unfortunately, we’re not gonna be able to change the media and how they portray that. But we are here for good reasons, just to assist the school and assist the kids and make sure everything goes smooth and everybody is safe.”

Worldwide, police officers are being seen negatively in the eyes of some. Unfortunately, there are some cases where a wrong decision is made on the job. Social media blows this mistake up, and within a second millions know about it. These police officers are not to be justified for their actions, but rather the rest of them deserve to be seen as their own. Few police officers should not decide the fate of them all. Officer Jeff Schremp is an amazing asset to Wausau West. West thanks Mr. Schremp for protecting everyone and his willingness to put himself in danger every day for others.