The ultimate purpose of every law enforcement officer is the same – to serve and protect individuals and communities. However, there are many different roles that are necessary to accomplish that goal.
Scott Archer, a longtime officer with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, found his specific calling early in his career and he hasn’t looked back. He is a School Resource Officer, serving the North Kansas City School District, where he is pouring himself into students, staff and citizens.
“It takes a very patient person and a very persistent person to do this job,” Archer said. “Seeing kids succeed and getting the opportunity to watch them grow makes it all worthwhile.”
The father of two grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. He played football at Missouri Western State University for a year, and then, after getting married, he moved on to the University of Central Missouri, where he would graduate from the Police Academy before joining the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
In his first year, Archer started working in the detention center before moving to rotational training with the Civil and Fugitive Unit. He was then transferred to the School Resource Unit of the North Kansas City School District. It was a perfect match – one that has lasted for the past 22 years.
“Some people are closed-minded to School Resource Officers, like it’s not real police work. But it’s actually more in depth,” Archer said. “It takes a whole lot more training and a whole lot more patience. If a street cop pulls someone over and writes them a ticket and that person is mad, the cop may not care because they’re never going to see them again. If I arrest a ninth-grader, I work with them for four more years of high school.”
Archer is a big believer in making the most out of any situation, no matter how challenging it might be.
“You can take a bad situation and make it worse by doing bad things,” Archer noted. “Or you can take a bad situation, turn it around and make it good by doing good things. The reward for that activity is so much greater when you turn the situation into a positive.”
He has learned that characteristic firsthand. It’s been nearly five years since Archer lost his wife to breast cancer. He spent the final year of her life being the caretaker and learning a whole new meaning of serving others.
“I gave so much of myself during that time period as a caretaker while she was in chemotherapy and before she passed away that it just stuck,” Archer reflected. “They say it takes 11 days to create a habit. Well, I did it for a year, every day, all day. That really kind of changed my mindset to where I was able to help people on a different level after that. Now I really understand the way people are hurting.”
Rather than let an unfathomable situation defeat him, Archer immersed himself into serving the community and took the lessons he learned to heart in order to be the best possible version of himself.
“I just tried to make lemonade out of lemons,” said Archer. “Instead of going the other route and sinking deeper into depression, I did the complete opposite. I dove into everything and gave myself up to every possible cause that I could. If anything came up at the department, I was their guy.”
Archer’s commitment to the community goes well beyond his duties at work. He has enjoyed being a camp scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation. He has also coached youth sports for years, including coaching middle school basketball in the North Kansas City School District. His family regularly volunteers at Harvesters KC and with a handful of other organizations in the area.
Having a unique perspective on the ups and downs of life, Archer understands that everyone needs a little bit of help sometimes.
“The students, families, colleagues and citizens we are surrounded by every day go through highs and lows,” said Archer. “If you have the abilities and the will, take time to notice the ones around you and identify those in need. If you are the one in need, ask for help. Sometimes pride can get in the way of a quicker recovery.”
For his devoted service to the Kansas City community, Archer is honored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Kansas City Royals as a “Blue KC Hometown Hero” at the Royals game on August 26.