Craig Hicks

Officer with Pleasant Grove ISD Police Department

Craig Hicks has always believed in public service. He was a firefighter for 33 years and a fire marshal for the Texarkana Texas Fire Department. “I did a lot of public education for the fire department and enjoyed working with the students. So moving to law enforcement for a school district seemed like something I would also enjoy,” Hicks says. “I have been in this role since December 2022, and I love the teachers and administrators I work with here in PGISD. They have been very welcoming and friendly. Also, the parents of the students have been very appreciative of the additional officers on campuses.”

For Hicks, his most critical responsibility as a school officer is to create a safe learning environment for students. “I’m the one to stand in between them and danger. At first, I think many students thought I was here because they were in trouble,” Hicks says. “But they have now learned that I’m ‘the good guy’ because keeping them safe is my job.” 

Every morning, Hicks ensures he is the first person students see when they arrive on campus. He greets them with a smile and calls them by name. “I want them to walk away from their first interaction at school and know, ‘Officer Hicks is glad I’m here, and he cares enough to tell me every day,’” Hicks says. “Then, at the end of the day, I do car duty, so I’m the last person they see as they leave, and I let them know that I look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

The most rewarding aspect of Hicks’ job is seeing students in the community outside of school. “They have invited me to their soccer games, and I often see them out with their parents. They are always excited to see me,” Hicks says. “It’s rewarding to see young students develop positive relationships with law enforcement.”

On the other hand, the most challenging situation that Hicks faces is learning about some of the situations that the students face at home. “There’s usually nothing I can do about their situation,” Hicks says, “so I try to build relationships with them so they look forward to coming to school and they know they have someone to talk to.” 

Hicks says he learned much about treating people with kindness and dignity from Retired Battalion Chief Kenny Copeland, who taught him to respect everyone, regardless of their situation. “He taught me to look at the human side of things and how important it is to put yourself in other people’s shoes. It really gives you a compassionate perspective,” Hicks says. “He showed the highest respect to even those who worked under him.”

Years of experience have taught Hicks that the right thing to do is rarely the easiest, but it is absolutely necessary and expected. This mantra has helped Hicks focus on the good he can accomplish in the community, especially with students at PGISD. “Knowing I have the unique opportunity to change the trajectory of a student’s life is the biggest motivator,” Hicks says. “I love getting homemade thank-you cards from some of the students. They spent time making something for me, and thanking me really means a lot. In fact, I save all the cards I’ve gotten. Some of them told me, ‘You’re my favorite officer!’— I’m the only officer on campus, mind you, but I still take it as a compliment.”

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