BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Corey Scharer’s five-year assignment as a school resource officer at Maumee City Schools will begin this year.
It’s a change for the patrolman, who has worked midnights for the past four years, but starting with the 2023-24 school year, he’ll be getting up with his children, who also attend Maumee City Schools, and find himself walking the hallways of Fort Miami Elementary, Fairfield Elementary and Maumee Middle School.
“School resource officer is definitely going to be a new role for me,” Scharer said. “I just went through the training, but the way I interpret my role is the safety and security of the staff and students.”
Now that his training is over, Scharer will be shadowing SRO Scott Russell prior to the start of the school year to learn more about the role and what is expected within the district.
Russell has several years of experience in the schools, so Scharer said he hopes to learn from him the day-to-day functions and the things that cannot be taught during training.
“I want to know what goes on behind the scenes and makes everything tick, so I can move into that role and be a part of what makes the wheels turn,” Scharer said.
It will be a lot to learn, Scharer added, but he is excited about the new role and the challenges it presents.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years and a lot of that has been centered around people’s worst day, and as I get older, especially through coaching and things, I just realized I’m ready for that transition into a more positive role and to make some differences in kids’ lives,” he shared.
The young students he’ll be seeing each day are just beginning to learn who they are and who they want to become, Scharer said. Growing up can be hard for children, and he’s hoping to guide them along when it’s necessary.
It will also present him with one of the biggest challenges he anticipates from this assignment: understanding what they’re going through at this age.
“I remember what it was like to walk the halls in seventh and eighth grade when I was in middle school. Now, times have changed, and I think the biggest challenge is going to be learning and understanding what these kids are facing now versus when I was that age and what’s important to them,” Scharer said.
When a child – or anyone else – is acting out, it’s important to know why that behavior is happening, Scharer noted.
He has spent years learning how to de-escalate situations and not react too quickly to every event. Especially with the students, he is hoping to have the chance to sit down, when possible, with the children to help them out.
“There’s a lot of times, someone comes in, there’s something going on in their life and it causes them to act out of character for a day, and they come in and they’ll mouth off to a teacher or something. There are external things and I’d like to understand why (they’re behaving that way),” Scharer said.
In his 20 years in the field, he knows good people can make mistakes, so he plans to carefully explain to the students about the consequences of their actions when the opportunity presents itself.
“At this age, for sixth through eighth grade, it’s pivotal. Kids are starting to get some autonomy, a sense of self. If I can sit down and mentor them and say, ‘Hey, if you do this, this could be a consequence down the road.’ If you can be a mentor … and just kind of be a person to help out and be there for them, that’s great,” he said.
Scharer, who also coaches a Maumee Little League team, has experience mentoring children in the community and enjoys his time being visible and present in Maumee.
His children are involved in different extracurriculars, so he plans to be at several events throughout the year, attempting to balance his time as a father and as a school resource officer.
It will take some time to learn how to balance each of those roles and remain an involved member of the community, but he said he is looking forward to it because he knows it is his job to always be learning.
He said he is ready to learn more, not only from the students and Russell, but also from the teachers and other staff at the schools.
“I want to be a teacher resource, too,” he said.
For now, Scharer is learning how he can ensure the safety and security of those in the schools. Once he’s found his place, he said he is ready to serve the district and the students within it to the best of his ability and become a resource and mentor for those he meets.