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Officer Clifton Opens Up, Sort Of

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Officer Clifton in his office

Officer Clifton in his office

Zara Khan

Zara Khan

Officer Clifton in his office

Zara Khan, Staff Writer

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Officer Clifton has a warm smile on his face when you first approach him. His uniform – although intimidating, is just a part of his job. I walk into the main office and ask if I can interview him, he considers, but still smiling agrees and walks the opposite direction of where I am going. I thought we could do this in the locker bay, but his welcoming persona yells at the back  “where are you going?” as he points to the back of the main office, an area I have never been to before. He takes me into his office, it is quite mesmerizing. My first thought was to take a picture, but of course I ask permission first.

getting to make people happy, having a positive impact on others, you do a lot being an officer at school versus an officer on the road.”

— Officer Clifton

Again, Officer Clifton considers this, but still smiles and nods on. I have noticed his frequent pauses to consider for the second time this morning, and wait for him to explain. “My job comes with limitations and restrictions, there are points to which I can interact and points to which I must say no, I really have to think before I agree to things,” this makes it hard for him to open up for the most part, but he tries his best to be there for everyone. I ask him about the challenges he’s faced at Green Hope, he says, “it changes day to day, but the hardest part of the job is trying to get to know or be there for every single kid, when you’re a teacher you have a class of thirty kids you can tackle, but being an officer to 3,000 some kids in the school, it’s impossible to try to take care of everyone at all times.” The best part of the job is actually being there for people according to Officer Clifton, he goes on to say, “getting to make people happy, having a positive impact on others, you do a lot being an officer at school versus an officer on the road.”

Officer Clifton didn’t always want to be an policeman, before shadowing a teacher, there was a time when he wished to be one. The experience changed his mind and his exact words were, “nope, not gonna happen.” His father was a police officer, so naturally he fit into the field of private security work,. Now, he loves his job. He wishes students would “be there for one another” when he cannot, and wants to tell the school that he is always here to talk to and to listen.

One of the things I have noticed about Officer Clifton in this brief encounter is that his warm and welcoming personality has been overshadowed by his uniform. Often times, we don’t view him as another part of the Green Hope faculty staff, but he helps the school just as every single teacher does. He keeps us safe and wants the best for every one of us.

Next time you see Clifton, give him a wave, or a smile, as he’s one of the kindest people at our school.

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
Officer Clifton Opens Up, Sort Of