New Officer, New Era

Photo+by+Tony+Kukulich+from+The+Brentwood+Press

Photo by Tony Kukulich from The Brentwood Press

Jack Baird, Staff Writer

    For roughly six years, Officer Mitch Brouillette, known commonly in the Brentwood community as Officer Mitch, was Heritage High School’s main and only campus resource police officer. Over that time he has gained an iconic status at the school by students and faculty alike, due to his helpful nature and ability to connect with students on a personal level.
     But it seems now as the new decade comes, Officer Mitch has been promoted to higher duties as Sargent of Brentwood PD and is passing the torch onto his colleague Officer Fish.
     Officer Mitch was arguably one of the most well appreciated faculty member on campus. A video in late 2016 from the project “Dude. Be Nice,” shows Heritage students and staff surrounding Mitch in a crowd of appreciation and thankfulness.
      It is still the most viewed video on their platform with over 14 million views and dozens of comments from people all of the nation feeling the same.
      Needless to say Officer Mitch’s presence is going to be hard to replace, especially with all the personal relationships he has cultivated. One of those being student Taylor Jamison (11).
     “Mitch did a lot of one on one motivation to keep the kids out of trouble. When the kids did get in trouble he would actually talk to them…and it created a lot of personal bonds,” explained Jamison.
     Officer Fish stated that his new presence on campus so far has been met with kindness and good vibes.
        “I’m starting to get to know the teachers better, getting to know the campus supervisors better, and it’s great…as far as the students go however, it’s interesting. I’m definitely still in the meeting people phase, but I feel like they’re welcoming and I’m excited to get to know them,” said Officer Fish.
     “Every student has different needs,” Fish stated when explaining his specific goals while being at Heritage High School. “I think everyone is different, everyone has various needs and some students need more help with stuff than others… I wouldn’t say I have specific goals, I would say my goal is to be open to helping kids with whatever their specific goal is.”
     Fish joked that he has big shoes to fill because of the impact Officer Mitch left behind. Officer Fish stated that he and Officer Mitch knew each other prior to this new change, saying that Brentwood is a small enough department to know everyone who works there very well.
      Officer Mitch stated that he has full confidence in Fish and what he can bring and continue to develop at Heritage.
     “Fish is a military veteran just like me. He was army and I was marines… he’s a swat team member with me and someone who is very family oriented and someone you can trust. He will always do the right thing and treat everyone with respect.  He’s the right person to continue the things I started at HHS,” said Officer Mitch
     Mitch says that he still keeps in touch with some of the students and faculty and keeps all of the phone numbers he received from the people of Heritage. The kids that were really close to him still consistently contact him and he is quick to respond.
     “I never knew a position… could be so rewarding. When I walked onto that campus in late 2014, I didn’t have an idea of what I was supposed to do or was expected to do…there’s no book on how to be a school resource officer. But we all come from different places in our life. My grandma and my coaches and teachers, they were the ones that I looked up toI could only try to be involved and be there for everyone,” stated Officer Mitch.
     Mitch talked about his rough upbringing with his father, how he feels he did a fantastic service by giving other kids the support and moral compass that he could have needed himself when he was their age.
     Although Officer Mitch says he will still pop on campus from time to time, he wanted to give his final words of wisdom for the future students of Heritage who will not know him as the main resource officer.
     “Treat everyone with respect, just be a good person. Keep your circle small.  The only thing that should matter in your life is what’s in your schedule. Everything outside your circle is just noise. And no matter what you do in life just be a good person! But lastly, live each day to the fullest. Life is short and you should enjoy each day,” said Mitch.
     Officer Fish will continue the good service that Officer Mitch started. Officer Mitch will always be a part of Heritage High School’s history, but we can bet the same will be for Officer Fish in good time.