The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

Sgt. Jay Arnold retires after 20 years of service

High schools across the country contain School Resource Officers who are there to protect and keep students safe throughout the school day. At GHS, one SRO has touched the lives of many students. Sgt. Jay Arnold has served as a resource officer with Greenwood Community Schools, typically high school and middle school, since the 2022 school year. On Jan. 17th, Sgt. Arnold retired from the Greenwood Police Department after 20 years of service.

Sgt.Arnold spent 20 years at GPD, and throughout the years, he went from the bottom of the food chain to the top, filling multiple positions on the police force.

“I started with Greenwood in 2004 as a patrol officer,” Sgt. Arnold said. “I held that position for eight years. During that time, I was a field training officer, drug recognition expert and a general instructor along with being an emergency vehicle operations instructor. In 2012, I became a detective and spent four years undercover as a narcotics detective.”

Sgt. Arnold earned a promotion from his former role in the police force. 

“After that, I was promoted to Sergeant in 2015. From then to 2017, I was a Sergeant on the Patrol Division for days and nights. In 2017, I switched over to the detective division as a Detective Sergeant, and I was appointed Deputy Chief of Investigations shortly after that switch,” Sgt. Arnold said.

During his time as the Deputy Chief of Investigations, Sgt. Arnold led investigations in Johnson County. Sgt. Arnold enjoyed the role although it added extra stress and responsibility to his job.

“I oversaw the whole investigation division through things like the Greenwood Park Mall shooting in 2022, homicides, crashes and all the stuff like that. I liked the role but it was stressful and I had a lot on my plate during that time,” he said.

Sgt. Arnold ended his time with GPD as a Sergeant on the Patrol Division, wrapping up a career in the same division he began it in.

Sgt. Arnold was an SRO for GCSC for the final three years of his career. The leading factor for his decision to join the schools was serving the kids.

“I became an SRO for the kids really,” Sgt. Arnold said. “I loved being around you guys and working with the kids. It was nice extra money working at the schools but really it was about hanging out with everyone at the schools.”

Sgt. Arnold’s son, freshman Gavin Arnold, encouraged his dad to start being an SRO, and having his dad around the school was a fun way to include his dad in the school environment and with his friends.

“I kind of encouraged him to come and be an SRO when we started to get them around more,” Gavin Arnold said. “We had more and more SROs coming in, and I went home one day and was like ‘Hey, dad, you should look into this and become one, it’d be cool’ and he agreed and started doing it.”

Being around his son and his son’s friends kept Sgt. Arnold at the school and led him to stay around the high school this year.

“Being around my son and all his friends and seeing what’s going on with him and all his buddies. It was just a different opportunity for me to connect with kids and not always have to be the hard street cop. I loved working with the kids and being at the school, it was a relaxing time from being on the streets,” Sgt. Arnold said.

Sgt. Arnold will most miss being an SRO after retiring. Spending time with the kids and being in the school was a highlight of the end of his career. Sgt. Arnold will miss the people he worked with but not the stress and craziness.

“I will most definitely miss being an SRO the most. Being an SRO was really a highlight and I enjoyed being with the kids. I’ll miss all you guys,” Sgt. Arnold said. “But mostly I’m going to miss all the people I worked with. We have a saying, ‘I’ll miss the clowns but I won’t miss the circus.”

Not only will Sgt. Arnold miss GHS, but GHS will miss him. Students across all grades will miss seeing him in the lunchroom, in the halls between classes and welcoming students in the morning. 

“It won’t be the same not seeing him at lunch anymore,” senior Dominic Soubeih said. “He was always there having a good time messing with us no matter what kind of mood he was in. He always joked and told us stories about his experiences and answered all kinds of our dumb questions. I can definitely say on behalf of all the students here at Greenwood that he will be missed.”

GPD and the city of Greenwood thanks Sergeant Jay Arnold for his 20 years of service and years of servicing Greenwood Community Schools. Sergeant Arnold will retire from GPD but will continue working as a part-time officer for the University of Indianapolis police. 

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    Darlene ConstantineFeb 23, 2024 at 10:18 pm

    Excellent job Logan Connor. I loved your article on Greenwood’s school resource officer.