As of this week, the School District of Lancaster is back in session, in full swing! So we’re featuring David Ruiz, one of our School Resource Officers. SROs are sworn officers that are assigned to a school, which helps foster a safe learning enviroment for students and teachers, and builds positive relationships between students and law enforcement.
What is your position? School Resource Officer
But no, really, what does that position do? It’s best described as a triad of responsibilities; law enforcement/school safety, law education in classroom settings, and finally informal counselor/big brother/mentor.
How does your job relate to making Lancaster a better, safer, or more equitable community? By being able to reach/relate with our students (where they are) at an early age I believe we (as SROs) have the ability to not only guide and educate them but to also show them by example what a good citizen looks like.
What are your hobbies outside of your city position? I love the arts, music and reading.
Where do you like to visit in town (restaurants, bars, parks, etc.)? I’ve been asked this question before, and it seem every time I have to update my choices. So, at this moment I’m going to say for parks, it’s gotta be The Lancaster County Park. For Restaurants, Sluggers Pizzeria and I don’t do bars. I also like Clipper Magazine Stadium and the Fulton Opera House.
Do you have siblings? Kids? Pets? Yes, yes and yes. I come from a family of 15 siblings, my lovely wife and I have seven wonderful children all grown up and out of the house now, and we have (well my wife has) two dogs a few fish (guppies) at home.
What was your job before working for the City of Lancaster? I served as a Lancaster County Deputy Sheriff.
What is one thing you wish people knew about your job/what are the most common misconceptions about your job? That working with our youth as an SRO is quite possibly the most rewarding field to work in within our police department and that SROs – in general – are not “street patrolmen” walking around in our community schools looking to arrest and criminally charge our kids the moment they do something wrong. I want to be a hero to our kids, not a ZERO!
What is your best, “Lancaster Moment?” To be honest, I have a lot of “best” Lancaster moments so let me just pick the time I stood up all night volunteering at our school’s annual lock-in. It’s an event where teachers and a few academically selected students get a chance to sleep over at the school building as a reward, playing games in the gym and listening to music with other students/teachers/admins amongst other fun activities that are all well planned out approved by the school administration in advance. It was a lot of fun but boy, I’m not that young person anymore, and it took a toll on my beauty sleep afterwards.
What’s your favorite song right now? Again, that’s one of “those areas” for me, I like way too many songs to really have a current favorite, but a song I heard not to long ago has crept its way into my head and I can’t seem to stop it from playing over and over again in my mind, it’s the song, “In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley. I know I’m dating myself, I’m good with that, and it’s a catchy song after all.