The student news site of Clayton High School.

Q&A: John Zlatic

Student Resource Officer John Zlatic is leaving after 10 years at CHS.

May 14, 2017

Photo+of+John+Zlatic+by+Michael+Melinger.
Photo of John Zlatic by Michael Melinger.

Photo of John Zlatic by Michael Melinger.

Photo of John Zlatic by Michael Melinger.

Q: Why did you decide to become an SRO?

A: The reason is because I was a juvenile detective before this. I had felt like helping the children, it wasn’t as fulfilling because children that were abused, the situation is that sometimes we couldn’t prove the abuse, so I had to release children back into what I thought would be an abusive situation. Or children that ended up being murdered. It’s not very fulfilling. I like kids, so I picked juveniles. So this is a lot more positive atmosphere.

Q: Why did you decide to become a police officer?

A: I had always felt the need to serve. But when I was your age, I just didn’t know what that would look like. And I went to college and I took a criminology class and I absolutely loved the stories that the teacher told about actually coming into contact with people on their worst day and trying to make it better. I served in the military and kind of did the same thing. So when I came back, instead of helping people in a different country, I wanted to help people in our own country.

Q: What has been your favorite part about being an SRO?

A: Working with the staff and the kids.

Q: You were in the military, what was your favorite part about that?

A: I got to see places that I would never have been able to see. And some absolutely gorgeous, untouched by human area. The other part was our mission was very clear and when you work with a small group of people on a mission, it is very cohesive. You know the other people so well and they know you – they become your family.

Q: What will you miss most about CHS?

A: That’s funny because I was just thinking about that. I guess a lot of things. I guess just cause we just canceled our fire drill, I was thinking, oh you know that’s the last one I will ever participate in. I will miss all of the events that we have like the homecoming, and the dances, and a lot of the times getting to see you guys outside of the school engaged in things. I miss that stuff too – coming and talking with you guys in the classroom.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Short term is I am going to go back to the Clayton Police Department. While I was here I got a masters in education. I have six more years until I retire. We have actually been talking about moving to Hawaii and I would like to either volunteer or help children in some way.

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