Get to know the new SRO


Maria Newton

Student Resource Officer Zeus Hernandez directs traffic in the parking lot. Hernandez has been working as an SRO for the past five years, but this is his first at West. “Like any profession [in police work], you are always aspiring to do different things, better things,” Hernandez said. “I love my job.”

The new Student Resource Officer (SRO), Zeus Hernandez, has claimed his spot in the front office.

Hernandez has worked as an SRO at several different schools for the last five years. When he moves from school to school it is difficult to adjust to the new staff and procedures. However, Hernandez enjoys the consistent hours and human interaction that come with the job.

“As an SRO I see [students] every day in school and in extracurriculars,” Hernandez said. “When you deal with people on the road, it is never under good circumstances. People don’t usually call the police when things are going well.”

Before his police work, Hernandez was a member of the United States Army. He enlisted when he was 17 years old, a junior in high school, and was a member for eight years.

“I can’t really explain [why I wanted to enlist], I wasn’t one of those little guys running around in an army uniform….I don’t have a big military family,” Hernandez said. “A big part of [my motivation] was 9/11, but also [I wanted] structure and discipline. It was just a weird sense of selfless service…that is where I found my satisfaction.”

Once he was out of the army, Hernandez struggled to find his place in society. He knew he needed a career that provided a similar experience to that of the military.

“It never crossed my mind as a child [that I would be in police work],” Hernandez said. “But, when I got out of the military I knew I wanted a similar job on the civilian side. Luckily, the police department has that structure, discipline…those higher standards. I was kind of lost initially and this line of work was the best fit for me.”

Hernandez is constantly working to go further in life, to push himself and to earn promotions. However, he enjoys working with young people and is happy with his position as an SRO.

“For me, [I like to] jump into new departments to give me different experiences, so when it is time for promotions, [it is clear that I am] well rounded,” Hernandez said. “But, there is something really refreshing about working with a group of people who respect law enforcement and people that you can get to know. Then, they can form their own opinions of law enforcement from our interactions. I’ll [be an SRO] as long as the department allows me to.”

Hernandez hopes that his work will provide young people with positive law enforcement contact that will help to break down barriers and combat stereotypes.

“Generally, when you deal with people in situations [in the street] they already have a predisposed thought of [police]. When you’re brought up thinking one thing and only one thing, it is really hard to break that,” Hernandez said. “To me [interacting with students] is really important because if we have continuous bad tensions [between police and civilians] for generations, it just doesn’t get any better. So somewhere, someone has to make the effort to break the cycle.”

An open door policy will be used for Hernandez’s office: he hopes that students understand they can come to him if they are ever in a rough situation.

“In all sincerity, I don’t expect everyone to accept me with open arms. But, my role here is to only to protect everyone, but to legitimately help people,” Hernandez said. “If you want to talk about something, you can count of me to be unbiased. Unless of course, you are out there robbing banks, then I’ll probably tell you that’s not a good idea.”

Overall, Hernandez wants to help students in any way possible while he is here.

“This is a very pivotal time for people,” Hernandez said. “Whether you realize it or not, the decisions you make now will affect you literally for the rest of your life. I’m here to help you make the right decisions.”