Although Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy John Spencer has only been a school resource officer at Keene’s Crossing Elementary since the beginning of the school year, he has served as a deputy for both the Orange and Seminole county sheriff’s offices over the last few years. In just a short amount of time, Spencer’s impact on the Keene’s Crossing community has been impressive.
What do you love most about your school?
The staff is awesome — (we have a) really good principal, assistant principal and the community. The parents are great, really engaging. I would say the staff and community has been really welcoming and fun to work with.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I would say working at an elementary school is kind of like being a famous person because kids look at you like you’re the greatest thing ever. It’s a really good opportunity to show the kids how police are in a positive way, different from what they see on TV. It’s fun working with them and high-fiving kids in the hallways.
What made you want to take on this job?
Law enforcement wise, it’s something different every single day so you never know what you’re going to get, and I like that in a job — that way I don’t get bored. It’s fun, it’s exciting. SRO wise, I kind of got into (it) in the beginning just to help out. I think it’s probably the best place you can be in the community to impact kids, teachers and staff outside of your regular job.
What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?
I would say what motivates me is what we’ve seen the last few years around the country. You see, unfortunately, shootings in schools, kids in the schools having mental health problems and what that does is it makes me constantly aware. I’m constantly checking the school, talking to kids that seem a little down or even teachers and parents. I don’t want to rest for one second and have something happen. I try to stay on top of all that.
What’s the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you?
I’d probably have to say really Tracy (Lewis) posting that comment is probably the nicest thing so far that’s happened, mainly because the schools are busy and they have a lot going on so a lot of times it’s hard for them to do anything. That’s not why we do it, but it’s nice when someone recognizes you.
What is the coolest place you have visited and why?
I would probably have to say Costa Maya, Mexico. To me it’s what I picture in a magazine when you think of a beach in Mexico. When you get off the boat you see a bit of culture and the people are really nice. It was a very relaxing trip.