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The Prospector

Officer Russell: The Man Behind the Badge

Photo by Emma Jones

Photo by Emma Jones

Emma Jones, Staff Writer & Social Media Manager

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The students at Bingham High School know that they have a hard working administration that invests time and effort in them. They see these men and women daily who come to Bingham to serve the students, but very few truly know them. One such man of mystery is our school police officer, Officer Russell.

Officer Russell has worked for the Salt Lake Police Department for 10 years, but he wasn’t always a law enforcer. Previously, he worked as a paper printer for 10 years. His interest in an ordinary day job was diverted the day Russell watched 9/11 live on TV. In his own words, he realized he “wanted to have a part in making America safe.” So he enrolled in Utah’s police academy and discovered a passion for protecting minors. When he was offered the position of a high school officer in his 5th year of service, he jumped on the idea.

Russell has three kids at home, one in high school, another in junior high, and the last in elementary school. He married his high school sweetheart and has been happily married for 19 years. Russell recounts that his favorite memories of his own high school years in California were attending the football games that he boasts were easily as hyped as Bingham’s games. He was in his school’s orchestra and their baseball team until 15 when he quit to work full-time.

Russell was an absolute cowboy as a teen. He jokingly describes his high school self as “wearing boots every day, no matter what.” He loves being outside, so his favorite sports are all active and outdoors. He says that volleyball, softball, and baseball are still his favorite activities to attend at Bingham today. Known to very few, Russell is a gummy candy lover. Be it worms or bears or even those peach rings, his favorite candies are anything gummy. Russell is a country music fan from his younger years, but today he likes “anything with a good beat.” That is one of the reasons he loves going to Bingham’s school dances. And he also thinks it’s funny to watch kids go nuts. Russell enjoys being with a younger crowd because of the energy and life they have.

“When I’m with kids,” he explains, “I don’t feel so old.” Despite his serious exterior, Russell loves working here at Bingham and cherishes getting to mingle with the students.

High school police officers are only assigned for five years at a time and this is Officer Russell’s fifth year at Bingham. At the end of this year, the beloved officer will be released from his position at Bingham and work somewhere new. Christen Richards-Khong and her coworkers all lament that they must relinquish such an exceptional model of police greatness. He said that he feels like a senior all over again. Every dance and sports game and celebration will be his last at Bingham. Russell wants the student body to know that he has loved having the opportunity to get to know you and that he will miss you. Bingham High School is lucky to have such a hard-working, dedicated man protecting its community.

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Officer Russell: The Man Behind the Badge