ORANGE PARK, Fla. - School resource officers are the front line of protection for students while they’re at school. They are the people responsible for standing between children and whatever danger may come their way.
For Clay County Deputy Brock Gump, who has been the school resource officer at Ridgeview High School in Orange Park for four years, students become an extended family.
“You get to watch them grow, become more mature and become ready to hit the real world and the workforce,” Gump said. “So it’s kinda cool to watch.”
Gump said protecting those students is his top priority.
When Gump learned about the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he thought about Ridgeview, as he does whenever there’s a school shooting. What would he do if there was a shooting at Ridgeview?
“I would find it,” Gump said. “I would find who’s doing that and I would isolate that threat.”
Gump said preparation is key. Every time he roams the campus, he envisions different scenarios as his way of preparing for the worst.
“How I would need to react depending on what happens,” he said. “So that way if it does happen, I don’t have to think about it I can just do it.”
In the meantime, he’s committed to building relationships with students. Because with time comes trust.
“When something serious happens, they trust that they can come to me and tell me right away,” Gump said. “Before they go to anybody else or post it on social media, they’ll come to me and they’ll tell me what’s going on so I can immediately start looking into it and doing what needs to be done.”
School districts across the nation have been dealing with a wave of threats in the week since the Parkland shooting. But if there’s one thing Gump wants parents to know, it’s this:
“Their schools and their children are safe,” he said