SRO Officer Spandle is back at Northwest

After being reaasigned from his position as an SRO Officer at Blue Valley Northwest in September 2018, Officer Richard Spandle has returned to BVNW and to his old post for the 2019-20 school year.

Jenna Weyforth, Chief Writer

After two years as a BVNW SRO Officer, Spandle said he was moved to Aubry Bend and Harmony middle schools at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year to help out, but is now returning to Northwest.

“Over the summer, the vacancy that I had created was still open, so I jumped at the opportunity to come back,” Spandle said. “Because I get to work with [Blue Valley Officer Anthony] Garcia and at Blue Valley Northwest I could just seamlessly step back in.”

Officer Garcia said he is excited to continue to grow his working relationship as Spandle’s partner as well as their friendship with Spandle back at Northwest.

“It’s like a dream come true, to be honest with you, and I enjoy working with other law enforcement officers,” Garcia said. “But, there’s something to be said about somebody like Officer Spandle, who is passionate about what he does and loves building relationships with the students and staff.”

As member of Seat Belts are for Everyone (SAFE) and Overland Park Police Department Explorers, senior Taylor Crowell has worked closely and built a relationship with Spandle.

“He is one of the advisers for the Explorers program, so that’s where I first really got to know him.” Crowell said. “His nickname is ‘Smiley’ at the police department, so obviously he is always very happy, always welcoming.”

Crowell said she was sad to see him leave, but was excited to hear he was coming back for her senior year because he was one of the first officers she had built a connection with.

“He just has a positive, positive energy,” Crowell said. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love him because he’s just so lovable and he’s always smiling.”

BVNW Principal Amy Pressly said she was also excited to hear Spandle was coming back, although she said she greatly appreciated Officers Rachel Scattergood and Justin Shepard filling in as the school’s SRO. Pressly said his care for building relationships within the community and his outgoing personality makes Spandle a special addition to the school. 

“The way that Officer Spandle and Garcia work together, I kid them that they’re the dynamic duo because they really complement each others strengths.” Pressly said. “I was just thrilled because that will give Officer Garcia and this building the consistency that we need and the consistency that the kids need.”

Being back at Northwest, Spandle said he is looking forward to strengthening his relationships with the BVNW community as well as on projects such as building up Youth Court, SAFE and increasing his time spent in classrooms. 

“It’s a very great feeling to be back at Northwest and the warm reception that I received from students, ”Spandle said. “That home feeling passed through me, and I thought ‘It’s good to be home.’”