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.

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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