Kiddie Cop Does What He Loves

Posted: 10/08/2010 by aeronroberts in Profiles

Most kids rarely notice their school resource officers, but if you ask a kid at OHCHS the name of our resource officer, they all say Skip. For this reason my journalism class got to ask Skip a couple of questions. When Skip sat down with us he was a little on edge, as well as on alert.

To start things off we asked how he got the name “Skip.” He answered, “There were so many siblings, my mom gave me that nickname. You knew you were in trouble if your parents called you by your full name.”

Skip’s real name is Hartley Mowatt Jr. He started his career in the Army in 1972 as an MP (Military Police). Nineteen years later, he decided to join the regular police force for the town of Paris. He didn’t start as a full-time officer until 1993.

I decided to ask Skip how he became the resource officer for OHCHS. He responded in a characteristically jolly way, “I was asked to by my chief.” The real reason Officer Mowatt became the resource officer for OHCHS is that Skip loves kids, and this is why he still patrols the school today.

Skip’s presence in the school everyday prevents problems like fighting and drug possession, plus other shenanigans kids our age are sometimes up to. But being a cop, Skip has to abide by certain rules. For instance, he can’t use the school as an agent in an investigation. So if you have drugs or something else in your locker that you are not supposed to have, Skip can’t just go and open your locker. He needs probable cause. Nor can he tell the principal that he thinks you’re hiding something and have the principal check it out. If you are doing something and Skip catches you, not only do you get in trouble with the school, but also with, according to Officer Mowatt, the police force. “They’re two separate working as one,” Skip said. In other words, Skip will not get involved unless he has to.

Most people wondered how Skip could know you were doing something wrong. This answer: Skip has “eyes in the back of his head.” He proved this by telling us that one person yawned three times during the interview.  Years in the police force taught him to use his peripherals. Skip’s interaction with kids on a daily basis helps a great deal as well.

We asked Skip how he knew students were under the influence. He said, “I see almost every student day-in and day-out, so I see how they are normally. With my years of experience I can tell if they’re on some sort of drug.” Skip cares about kids at OHCHS and remembers how they behave. So look out if you’re doing something bad. You never know when Skip is around.

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