From Professional Soccer to the Police Force, Meet Kennewick High's New SRO
When Troy Perkins was a boy, he dreamed of being a professional soccer player.
He grew up to make that dream a reality – playing for 12 years, including with the Seattle Sounders.
Now, he's living out another dream as a police officer.
He's been with the Kennewick Police Department for six years, and he recently took on a new post as Kennewick High's school resource officer, or SRO.
He said he's enjoying the chance to bond and create connections with students.
"It gives me the opportunity to learn the kids' stories," Perkins said. "Interacting with the kids is great every day."
In our district, SROs are stationed at each of our three comprehensive high schools and two of our middle schools. The Educational Programs & Operations levy on the ballot on Feb. 14 would add three more middle school SROs, plus safety officers at all of our elementary schools and other safety enhancements.
To learn more about how the levy will support health and safety, visit www.ksd.org/levy.
Officer Perkins retired from professional soccer in 2015 after playing in Washington, D.C., Norway, Portland, Montreal and Seattle. He was working as a coach in the Sounders Academy program when a fellow Sounders staff member – a retired Seattle police detective – made a suggestion.
"He pulled me aside one day. I was talking about how I enjoyed coaching but it wasn't what I wanted to do long-term," Perkins said. "(The retired detective) said, 'law enforcement is great.' He set me up on a couple of ride-alongs and pushed me to really look into it. I loved it."
Perkins – who has children of his own in Kennewick schools – sees the SRO role as an important one in the district and community.
"We're there for safety. The other part is being a positive influence on kids. Maybe you're the only constant in their life because everything outside of school is in upheaval. Being a mentor, a positive impact – maybe it's something that changes them from dropping out of school to staying in school and doing something productive with their lives," he said.
As an SRO, he said, "I'm here to give back to the community."