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Officer Misztal Wants to be More Than an Enforcement of the Law

Maggie Peck, Staff Writer

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Imagine committing to a completely new career and going through months of intense training for the sole purpose of becoming a School Resource Officer. Officer James Misztal is new to Broomfield High School this year as our new resource officer. “Officer Montgomery left some huge shoes to fill,” he said.

 

Police officers are often viewed as intimidating people purely to keep everybody in order, but that isn’t all of who they are. Officer Misztal wants to be able to help kids have a good high school experience and be a positive influence on their lives.

 

Officer Misztal hasn’t always been in the police force. Graduating from Thornton High School and Arapahoe Community college, he worked in a career unalike the one he has now. “When I was 21 I went down the path of IT and technology, I had that career for 21 years.”

However, when the economy was becoming unstable several years ago, he decided it was time for a change. He then put himself into Arapahoe Police Academy to see what would become of it. “It was something I had always kind-of thought about,” he said,“I wrote myself a list of when I become a police officer what I want to do, top of that list was SRO.”

 

He has now been an officer for about five and a half years, but he did have to work his way up through the ranks. His previous job was at Lone Tree police department, which he had for two and a half years. He said that once “I went to a murder where a gentleman had been stabbed repeatedly, he shouldn’t have survived.”

 

Becoming an SRO was a process, and Officer Misztal chose to come to Broomfield. “Legacy was available as well, when they asked everybody, I wanted to come here even though I’m responsible for 11 or 12 schools and Legacy is just Legacy, I still wanted to come here.” He later said that he likes the job he now has here, saying, “I would love to be an SRO for the duration of my career as a police officer.”

 

People at school say that so far, Officer Misztal feels like good person to be working here. “Officer Misztal is a really great addition to our staff,” said Mr. Barnes, “He’s really good at working with kids in a variety of ways.” Others don’t know him as well, but they still give the impression that they are enthusiastic about the change. Ms. O’Brien talked about how she’s heard him speak at faculty meetings, and that he has good ideas in the right direction. Eli St. Onge (9)  said “He seems like a chill guy.”

 

He already has some connections at the school because he coached multiple high school sports. “I’ve got many years of coaching. There’s so many of my former players that are seniors this year that I love seeing everyday, it’s great to see how they’ve been growing.” His favorite sports are tied at soccer and wrestling.

 

Having had a good time in high school himself, Officer Misztal wants to be a positive influence in other people’s experiences. “High school to me was the best time of my life, I loved it.”  He says now that, “This is a really good fit for me, I really enjoy it. I want to be somebody that they can look back at later and go ‘he really helped with this,’ even if it’s something as silly as soccer. I want their experience with police to not necessarily be for bad things.”

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Officer Misztal Wants to be More Than an Enforcement of the Law