For 10 years, cop has patrolled the halls of Sutherlin schools

SUTHERLIN, Ore. -- He does everything from coach football to counsel at-risk youth.

He's even there to say a simple "Hi" to kids in the hallway.

Sutherlin School Resource Officer Kurt Sorenson believes his presence is much more than an authority figure in the schools. "You know, I'm just one of the guys," he said. "I'm not a cop looking to get anyone in trouble."

Sorenson says he enjoys being able to interact with the kids on a daily basis. "I get to be an influence on them, and the more adults you have in the school that are a positive influence, the more things get reported to those adults," he said.

He says the relationships that he builds in school are the ones that may help him prevent bad things from happening. "If a kid hears a rumor about, 'Hey, something is going to happen at lunch, or before school,' they feel comfortable talking to somebody," said Sorenson.

Some schools have made headlines across the country showing how violence can escalate.

As a parent with his own kids attending Sutherlin schools, he understands the fear some parents have when dropping their kids off. "I always try to be at the school as much as I can, just in case something does happen," Sorenson said.

Officer Sorenson has been there for Sutherlin students and staff through the good and bad. "Yes, there's school violence. There's workplace violence, there's violence all over the world, but school truly is the safest place for kids," he said.

Above all, Sorenson hopes he can do a little to make it easier on the kids. "I want their experience in school to be good," he said. "I don't want a kid to wake up in the morning and say, "I don't want to come to school today," because really, this is the best time of their lives."