Bringing together the community, its police force and Enumclaw’s young people “is something I always wanted to do.” So says Colyn McCall, the latest officer to walk the halls of Enumclaw High School.
McCall began working May 12 as the third school resource officer at EHS, taking over a program that is jointly funded by the Enumclaw School District and the Enumclaw Police Department. The SRO effort debuted in January 2019 with Amanda Reeves. She held the post until 2020 when she was promoted and continued until last week with Alec Miller.
The duties of an school resource officer are wide-ranging, McCall said, noting he spends much of his time interacting with EHS students, hoping to create a public-police bond that extends past graduation. But he’s also able to provide a formal, uniformed police presence if and when the need arises.
Placing a police officer on the EHS campus was a decision that didn’t come easily, but was eventually seen as a response to real-world events. Talks between the school district and police department began in earnest following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, according to a memo provided by Chief Bob Huebler.
While still relatively new to Enumclaw, the concept of placing a police officer on a high school campus dates back to the 1950s. The idea was first tried in Michigan and was largely an East Coast concept until the 1990s. The trend has grown with each tragic event.
But, again, the primary task for each SRO is to form a connection between students, staff and law enforcement. When the program first launched at EHS, the district website noted the officer’s mission was “to ensure safety in accordance with the law while also getting to know the staff and students. Having an officer walking the halls with students “allows a substantial connection between our work and theirs.”
McCall is no stranger to the Plateau and has a lifetime of familiarity with police work. He was born in Enumclaw in 1997 and was raised in Buckley until age 12 when the family moved to the Spanaway area. During high school he began taking mixed martial arts classes and eventually climbed to the “black belt” level while also becoming a certified instructor.
Prior to police work, McCall was employed by State Farm as a claim handler. He moved to the insurance company’s DuPont office building which prompted a move to Lacey, where he resides with his wife.
He eventually pursued police work and put in applications with several departments, including Enumclaw. He was hired in October 2019 and completed the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in July 2020.
As for the family connection with law enforcement, McCall’s father, Grant, is a veteran of the Enumclaw Police Department (currently a detective sergeant) and he has an uncle who retired two years ago from the Federal Way force.