• 93°

Father, daughter in school together

Olivia Bishop got to go to work with her daddy Monday morning.

Olivia is a new kindergarten student; her dad, Officer Michael Bishop, is Red Level’s school resource officer.

Bishop said that even though working at the same school as his daughter was not his first thought, he is glad to serve Red Level and be able to protect her.

“When I took the job, she wasn’t in school yet,” Bishop said. “But this is her first year at Red Level, and it is nice that we are going to the same school.”

Although they are at the same school, Bishop said he makes sure to stay clear of her hall to make sure that she gets the education she needs.

“Her teacher has her job, I have my job, and more importantly, Olivia has her job as a student,” Bishop said. “But I do see her during lunch, because I come in the lunchroom and have lunch with the students.”

Bishop said that other than parking patterns, drop off routines and new drivers, he makes it a point to get involved in the school.

“A lot of people have the wrong perception of school resource officers,” Bishop said. “They think that it’s a boring job, and honestly it can be if you just sit and watch security footage all day. But if you get involved in the school and interact with the students, it’s not boring at all.”

Bishop said that he is working with the Red Level High School Peer Helpers on anti-bullying awareness and Red Ribbon Week.

“Since I’m not a teacher, I can’t really sponsor any clubs,” Bishop said. “But if I work with the Peer Helpers, then we can do a lot of things together to make the school a better place.”

Bishop said school resource officers have been in the spotlight because of the recent school shootings, but they have always been important.

“SROs are in the headlines now because of the school shootings,” Bishop said. “But they have always been important. Everything I do is for the safety of the students and the faculty at the school.”

Bishop said that a lot of the times, SROs are the only positive encounter with law enforcement that some students have, and that is why they are so important.

“Some students get pulled over by cops or their parents have been locked up by law enforcement,” Bishop said. “But at school they always know me as the guy that high-fives them and gives them positive encouragement.”

Bishop said that he is always working to become a better SRO.

“I want the students and faculty to feel as comfortable as they can,” Bishop said. “So I am always asking the administration and the faculty if there is anything else that I can do.”

Bishop said that law enforcement was not his first calling.

“I kind of fell into law enforcement,” Bishop said. “I came home from deployment and was in school to become a teacher and started having second thoughts.”

Bishop was in the Army National Guard and was deployed to Guantanamo Bay for all of 2013. When he came home from deployment he said that his wife’s father put the idea of law enforcement in his head.

“I heard him out and decided to apply around the area,” Bishop said. “So I got my first job in Florala and then worked in Conecuh County for a while before landing the job in Red Level.”

Bishop is married to Haley Bishop, and coaches for the city youth softball and soccer programs in his free time.