BY CHLOE PORTER
Officer Adam Innocenti has been a part of Wadsworth High School for many years, but is now achieving his goal. He has officially been promoted to a detective, and is resigning as Wadsworth High School’s resource officer after eight years.
“It wasn’t one of those things I wanted to do right away,” said Innocenti.
In college Innocenti planned to become a fire fighter. As he continued his classes he decided that he wanted to become an officer instead because the fire classes and police classes were in the same building.
He graduated from the police academy in 2006 after 680 hours that he invested in his training. By 2013 he was officially announced the school’s resource officer. When he first became a resource officer though there was a lot of concern in the community. People were worried that there was a flaw in the safety of the school or he would be interrogating children just because of how police officers were viewed back then. He feels that throughout these eight years he has changed how many students and parents view Wadsworth’s police force.
His goal was to connect with the students so that they do not feel intimidated by all cops. Instead Innocenti wanted to be a positive influence on the students, so they did not just think that officers were only people who hand out tickets.
“There’s 2 types of police officers: the community driven police officer that wants to get out there and be in the public and help make a difference, and then there’s the police officers that do more criminal side of things,” said Adam Innocenti.
Innocenti’s favorite memory from Wadsworth High School was when there was a call about a shooter at the high school about 4 years ago. The school went intol a lockdown and although it was a scary experience, it helped the school to improve its lockdown procedures because the communication between teachers and the officers was not very good. He feels this incident was a great experience for all of the schools in order to work through the small communication issues to make the school a safer environment.
He became a resource officer because he enjoys the community side of policing. The community side is more proactive while the criminal side is retroactive because they are dealing with the crime after it is happening. Although he loves being involved in the community as the resource officer, he has been doing it for a long time, and is ready for his new position.
“I love it… but I can sense I’m getting burnt out,” said Innocenti.
After almost nine years of being the school’s resource officer, he is moving on to his goal of becoming a detective. In order to get the position he had to go through an interview process.
As of November 25, Officer Innocenti will be done with his position as the high school’s resource officer, and will be replaced by Ben Smith. Smith has been an officer in Wadsworth for three years now. Like Innocenti, he is also invested in the community side of policing.
“I like showing people that police officers are human, not robots,” said Smith.
For Smith, being a resource officer is the best job because he feels he can make the most impact. He enjoys working with students and is excited to be able to watch each student grow into an adult.
“We’re humans too,” said Smith, “We like to do all the same stuff that you like to do on the weekends.”
According to Smith, he wants to show that officers are just like everyone else, and that they are here to support and help us. He wants students to have a better view of police officers, and not be scared of them in the future.
Innocenti hopes that he has helped kids to make sure that they are not intimidated by the police officers. He reflects on his experience as positive, and hopes that Smith will enjoy it just as much as he has.