New SRO enjoying working face-to-face with teens
Bonner Springs Police Officer Anthony Davis is the new School Resource Officer at Bonner Springs High and Clark Middle schools. Now that he has been in the position for a few weeks, The Chieftain caught up with Davis last week to ask him a few questions.
Hometown: Kansas City, Kan.
Family: Wife and four children — they range from 2 to 13 years old
What high school did you attend?
F.L. Schlagle High School (Kansas City, Kan.)
Do you have a nickname?
Around the community of Bonner they call me “Hightower,” because of the movie Police Academy (Davis is 6-foot-9). Some of the officers in the department call me by my initials, A.D. or Big A.D.
How long have you been with the Bonner police department?
Eleven years. Prior to that I was with Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office for seven years.
Did you always want to be a police officer?
In the beginning, I loved sports. But I always wanted to be a police officer; I always liked to help people. Some of the KCK officers I ran into in my early life, I saw how they were professional and wore their uniforms and thought that was neat.
What sports did you play as a teenager?
Basketball, and I ran track. After Schlagle, the first couple of years, I went to Oral Roberts University, and then I came to UMKC (playing basketball). I was majoring in education and psychology.
Were you a good kid in school?
I considered myself a good kid – if you asked my parents, they would say I was a good kid. I did some things that typical kids would do. Being an athlete, they are usually the strong people, the leaders. I found, if I saw two people fighting, I’d try to break it up. If I’d find myself in a conflict, I didn’t try to start anything. I was more what I am now, laid back.
What kind of music would be on your iPod?
I like all kinds of music. I listen to the music my kids listen to, and I try to have an open mind to a lot. I’m more of a jazz person — Norman Brown, the jazz player, and some hip-hop. I try to be open to all music; I even listen to some country. But if I had my choice, it’d be more live music. Bands playing and singing, I love that. I used to play instruments myself, drums and violin, so that’s why I like live music.
What’s your worst habit?
At this time, my worst habit is eating. When I got into this profession – I love what I’m doing, but I don’t find the time to do the physical activity I love doing, and I end up eating more.
Who do you most admire?
My parents are my role models. All through my life, I had both parents, and they pretty much kept me in line. They showed me the example of getting married and having a family. My dad, he passed away this year, but he was a veteran and showed me how to stand up for myself and do what’s right, treat everybody fairly.
How did you become the SRO? Why did you want the position?
The (Police) Chief (John Haley) came to me and asked me would I be interested. It’s something I always wanted to do when I first started here, D.A.R.E. or SRO, or something where I can work with kids. I used to substitut-teach at Clark Middle School and in other districts, so I have experience being around kids. But it’s a little different wearing a uniform rather than just wearing plainclothes.
What have you enjoyed about being SRO most so far?
It’s new, it’s a challenge for me right now. Meeting different kids when they’re passing in the hallways, throwing high fives, seeing a smile on their face, talking to them during lunch time, just to hear what they have to say. My whole goal is just to make them feel comfortable to come up to a police officer wearing a uniform. That’s something, in the streets as a police officer driving around, I didn’t have that opportunity... to get the face-to-face contact with the kids. I’ve got that now, and hopefully I’ll see the ones who are the problem students turn into good students, get their education and graduate.