Salute the Badge: School resource officer builds trust with students

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 29, 2018

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Deputy Matthew Fischer's primary job is protecting students at Gadsden High School.

"Gadsden County hired me right out of the academy," Deputy Fischer says. "I did almost two years on road patrol and I felt the calling to come to the schools."

Deputy Fischer has three years with the sheriff's office. He's now in his second year at the high school, and Principal Pamela Jones says he's making an impact.

"You can see the change. He has a caring spirit but also has that no-nonsense, you know, you break rules and you've got to suffer the consequences for them," Principal Jones says.

Monitoring the halls, classroom and even the bathrooms, Deputy Fischer is charged with ensuring students' days are as safe as possible. In the process, he's building relationships with the very students he protects.

"Every kid thinks that they know what's best and that we're all out to get them," Deputy Fischer explains. "It's kind of hard to chip away at that and get them to understand that we're here for them."

Deputy Fischer and Principal Jones are also rolling out new safety procedures.

"Our students have to have parking decals now, so once they sign up with him, he issues them a parking decal," Principal Jones says.

Whether he's protecting them in the classroom, or on the street, Deputy Fischer says gaining their trust is key.

"They just really want somebody to listen and they're kind of surprised when they talk to me and we're not judging them, we're not just jumping on them, you know? We really find out, okay, you did this, but let's go deeper here... why?" says Fischer.

For his dedication to protecting students in his community, we salute Deputy Matthew Fischer.

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