Q&A: New School Resource Officer Moran keeps students, staff in check

After growing up and beginning his professional life in New York, and after showing his grit and dedication to service as a September 11, 2001 (9/11) first responder, the new School Resource Officer (SRO) Christopher Moran moved to Virginia Beach to continue his career and be closer to family.

In Moran’s short time at the school, he has managed to create strong relationships with both faculty/staff members and students. In fact, SRO Moran has quickly become a well-loved and respected member of the school.

Q:Why did you become a cop?

A: “The job interested me. I never envisioned myself being confined to an office. With this job, everyday is a different story.  Who looks to the accountant to tell a story when you could ask a cop that worked the last couple night shifts and they could tell you multiple stories.  When I help someone it gives me a level of satisfaction.”

Q:How long have you been a police officer?

A: “In total, 29 years. Ten years with the New York Police Department (NYPD) and 19 with the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD).”

Q:How did responding to the terrorist attack on 9/11 affect your life and/or job?

A: “It was one of the few moments where no one knew what was going on. We all jumped into a bus and headed to the Twin Towers not knowing what information we were hearing was true. One of the biggest fears for cops is going into the unknown. I saw a difference in how the older officers and younger officers responded to the attack. I saw a difference in how people view police.”

Q:How do you handle/deal with the job’s emotional aspect, the toll it can take on a person?

A: “You have to separate work and personal life. You become very close with the people you work with in this job and our own form of therapy is talking to one another. You can’t bottle up everything, you need to talk about it.  When cops leave the job, they tend to have some sort of PTSD from it.  One thing they have now is peer support groups and I am now one of the peer support counselors.”

Q:What brought you to Virginia Beach after being in New York?

A: “My ex wife has family down here, so I got to know the area and grew to like it. I thought that this area was more suitable for raising a family. I also enjoyed not having to pay a toll to go to work and this area was more affordable. Also, the training in Virginia Beach is much better than the training in New York.”

Q:Why did you become a School Resource Officer?

A: “I never thought I would ever be an SRO. My sergeant asked me to go to SRO school because he knew I was getting tired of patrol. I was originally supposed to go to Lynnhaven Middle School, but the SRO before me here decided to leave. They offered me the position and I jumped on it because I heard very good things about the staff and school. It’s been two years now and I am glad I made the decision I did. I enjoy being an SRO.

Q:What is your favorite part about working at this school?

A: “Interacting with the students. With all the negative stuff on social media about cops, I enjoy that the students get to know me so they can get a different perspective. We aren’t all these mean, storm trooper looking people that are out to get you and students realize that when they get to know me.”

Q: What did/do you hope to achieve as a police officer and now as an SRO?

A: “As an SRO, I hope to make an impression on people and change their views on police officers. I think getting to know each other changes our perspective on police as a whole. The ultimate goal for me is to retire healthy and be able to enjoy my retirement.”