March 12, 2017
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Watching someone who used to constantly get in trouble for stealing and doing drugs, graduate, go to college, or do big things in the world would give anyone a sense of accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment for being able to see the progression that person has made from where they were in the beginning to where they ended up. For Officer Pedersen, he has been able to see that first-hand multiple times as a school cop for Highland.
Pedersen has been a school cop for five years, with the first year being at Northwest Middle School and the last four years being at Highland. At Highland, he could always be seen watching over the cafeteria during lunches or riding his ATV to Sugarhouse Park to catch students who shouldn’t be there.
“I’ve liked the diversity of being a school cop, and being able to build relationships,” Pedersen said. “It’s about building relationships with trust, even with students who I have given citations to before.”
Being a school cop has enabled for more of a relationship to be formed between Pedersen and anyone who gets in trouble. If he was on patrol, he would possibly arrest a certain person, put him in jail and never see him again. But being a school cop allows Pedersen to see students after they get in trouble and allows him to check up on them and form a relationship with them.
He appreciates all the relationships he has made while being at Highland, and hopes to have made a difference in at least a few people’s lives.
“My boss told me that here at a school when you get to know the students, you have a much greater possibility of making a difference in somebody’s life,” Pedersen said.
Although he has made great relationships at Highland, he aims to make new ones at the new position he has been called to.
He will be going to the Community Intelligence Unit (CIU), where there are seven officers assigned to geographical districts in the city. Each officer is responsible for coordinating with the mayor’s office, the health department, public services, community councils and city councils, addressing certain concerns in that geographical area.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity but it is very bittersweet,” Pedersen said. “I am definitely going to miss all of the relationships I have made here.”
As shown through all the relationships he has made with students and teachers, Pedersen has made a positive impact on Highland. His work for Highland, in regards to the student’s lives and to the community, doesn’t go unnoticed and is very appreciated. He will be greatly missed, but students and the administration at Highland know he will do considerable things at his new position.