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SRO spends time with students at PHS

Curtis Humphreys speaks to students in government class.

School Resource Officer Curtis Humphreys isn’t just about enforcing the law at Princeton schools. He’s there for the students as a mentor and role model and considers educating students as part of his job responsibility.

“I enjoy providing law-related education,” Officer Humphreys said. “I love seeing the difference in the students’ behavior toward police after they see that we are here to protect them. This is a positive way for the young adults in our community to understand that there is no reason to fear the police.”

Officer Humphreys, who has been with the Princeton Police Department since 2014, frequently volunteers to speak to students during their classes.

“The 4th Amendment is very important to understand because it is their protection from the government that our ancestors fought and died for,” he said. “It is very important for citizens to know their rights when it comes to using force and deadly force. If they don’t have a very good understanding of what they can and cannot do in certain situations, they may make the wrong decision that may end up with them being arrested or otherwise charged with a crime.”

As an SRO, Officer Humphreys believes he can make an impact.

Officer Humphreys “Community policing is one of the most effective ways for police officers to ensure a safe and secure environment, and the best way to accomplish community policing is through the school system,” he said. “We have the opportunity to have a positive effect on the students early on so they will view police as people that want to protect and serve, not oppress the citizens.”

He said there is one challenge in dealing with teenagers that keeps him on his toes.

“Social media seems to be a constant source of arguments and other issues in the schools,” he said.

Prior to joining the Princeton Police Department, Officer Humphreys served his country as an infantry Marine. Although he left the military in 2000, he opted to return to this life in 2007 and signed up for the Air National Guard as part of the special operations weather team and combat weather forecaster.

“That started a very long and rigorous training cycle,” he said. “I completed a combat tour with the 160th SOAR in Iraq and supported a drone mission in 11 different countries.”

It was this service that led to his career in law enforcement.

“I rejoined the military because I have always felt a need to protect the citizens of Texas and the United States,” Officer Humphreys said. “While I was going through SOWT training, I decided that I also wanted to protect local citizens, as well.”

So he signed up for the Collin County Law Enforcement Academy in 2013 and became a police officer. After a few years, he decided to leave patrol to become an SRO, a job that he says is still similar to his role in patrol. 

“This is similar to patrol in the fact that we interact a lot with the citizens, but it’s a completely different routine and the calls are more about juvenile concerns,” he said. “As one of the SROs, I am responsible for providing informal counseling and law-related lessons for the students on top of the law enforcement duties.”

He said it’s easy to choose what impact he wants to make on the community, including the students of PISD. 

“Police officers are here to help everyone in any possible way,” Officer Humphreys said. “Our mission is to provide a safe and secure environment throughout the entire community.  Whether the officer is in patrol, administration, detective, SRO, the officer’s primary goal is ensuring they make the community as safe as possible while doing so in a courteous, conscientious and professional manner.”