Get to know the new Sarasota County School Police Officers


SARASOTA- The first day of school can be nerve-racking for anyone, including the new Sarasota County Schools Police Officers.

“Honestly, just making a great impression. I just want to get off on the right foot,” Officer Courtney Zak said.

“Car-line. So, as a parent I’ve been through many different car lines, and I know that can get a little stressful and frustrating,” Sargent Steve Kim said.

But going back to school reminds these officers of their favorite subjects.

“My favorite subject was science, personally, but it was the one I struggled the most wise academically. It was fun to me because our science teacher made the classroom very interactive. So it was always messing with fluids, dissecting frogs,” Kim said.

“Definitely gym class. For dodgeball, dodgeball was my favorite,” Zak said.

“My favorite subject was having fun. I had fun in school. History I guess was my favorite subject, but I liked playing in the playground, to be honest with you,” Officer Jim Wheatley said.

For these officers, having fun used to mean getting out on the field or the court.

“I played soccer, I did swimming in the fall and I played tennis in the spring,” Kim said.

“I played football, baseball, wrestling,” Wheatley said.

“I played volleyball, and I also shot archery. Before Katniss was popular,” Zak said.

But now, the one thing that puts a smile on their faces is the safety of all their students.

“It is my passion to be a school police officer,” Sargent Todd Perna said.

“I can’t wait to get back in and enjoy the company of the little kids,” Wheatley said.

“It should be so much fun with those little ones, and I’m just so honored to be there to protect them,” Zak said.


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