That's what they call cops who are tasked to a public school. The current guy, I'll call him Henry, is the third one in the six years I've been in the building. The first, a youngish woman, left after a year or so, and it's been do long I don't even remember why. The second, a youngish guy, left in a cloud of disgrace when an underclassman accused him of smooching with her after hours. I wouldn't be surprised if the accusations were true.
Anyway, about four years ago we got Henry. Henry is short and stout, middle-aged, and he's a cop's cop. I think he still does beat duty when he's not at the school -- at least he did when I shared a cafeteria shift with him a few years ago. He'd tell me about the criminals he would tackle in order to bring under arrest, and kids at the school would attest to his strength an speed. He's like 5'5" and maybe 180 pounds. He helps coach our ice hockey team, and even plays in an adult hockey league. He's probably 55 years old, maybe a bit more.
I saw Henry up on the third floor today, where I teach. That was odd, because I only rarely see him out and about around the building, and it may have been the second time all year I've seen him in the nosebleed section. He was down the hall, and I didn't have a chance to say hi.
I like Henry, and I think he likes me. We come from really different worlds, the beat cop working the cushy gig and the would-be professor who had to settle for a high school job. In the cafeteria we discovered a common fondness for ice cream sandwiches -- the old school kind, with vanilla ice cream and those soggy chocolate wafer outsides -- and we both really care about the kids.
So a bit later I'm in the break room making myself some coffee and Henry comes in with another teacher. She's showing him the security procedures and pointing some concerns she has about them. I'm looking at Henry's belt.
The .45 I recognize, because he's always had that, and I knew the yellow plastic pistol on the other side was the taser he's been carrying for a couple years now. I asked if he had pepper spray, and he placed his hand on one of the pouches on the front of the belt. "Right here," he said, as he shook the pouch.
"If somebody tries anything here, you'll be able to take care of them, right?" I said to him, expecting a bit of braggadocio in return. Instead, a cloud crossed his face and he got real serious. "I'll do the best I can," he said.
And that scares the crap out of me.