The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Not Just A Man In A Uniform

Deputy Schickert Has Worked For GPS More Than 12 Years
Deputy Lance Schickert has worked as a school resources officer twice for GPS. He started at GHS again in 2021.

Every day, students rely on local law enforcement to keep them protected from any danger that may occur. School resource officers help students so they can feel confident that nothing will happen to them at any given moment. At GHS, Deputy Lance Schickert is here to protect the building and its people through all hours of the day from any and every obstacle that comes this way.

“Being a deputy was really not on my list of things to do,” Deputy Schickert said. “I felt like this was the next step (after the military), and I could make some good money, while having no college degree. The school (GHS) just brought it up one day and I thought, ‘that would be kind of cool,’ so I have been doing this for most of my career.”

Instead of college, Deputy Schickert served in the military prior to going into law enforcement. He started working for Gretna Public Schools (GPS) in 2000 and worked until 2011. He took a break after 2011 once his kids got to high school because he felt like they would not want their dad as the school officer. He took 10 years off and then returned in 2021.

“I do anything that deals with the law,” Deputy Schickert said. “Sometimes it is just talking to kids if they have done something wrong and just saying, ‘Okay, the school is handling it this time, but this is what could have happened to you if you were out in the street.’’’

Students will also sometimes sit down with Deputy Schickert and discuss the law. He explains what the applicable rules are to them so they understand it and know not to break it again.

“I arrest kids if I have to, do reports and lots of accident stuff,” Deputy Schickert said. “I walk the halls as much as I can to make sure all your guys’ doors are locked and always propping doors open. Mainly, I am just a security for you guys and a resource to everybody.”

Deputy Schickert goes into classes and speaks to students about various topics as well. From talking about his time in the military to distracted driving, he is here for anyone and everyone who has any questions or concerns. It makes him nervous when teachers leave their doors open because if someone gets into the school those classes with propped doors are easy for them to access.

“When you are on the go, you are going to arrest the same guy six, or seven times and you feel like you are not making a difference,” Deputy Schickert said. “Here, I feel like they can see me as a normal person, not just a uniform. It makes a difference.”

To become a deputy, there is a considerable process involved. There was a written test that, when Deputy Schickert took it, was 300 questions long. Once he passed that, he took a physical test, then got put on a list for law enforcement agencies came to hire from it. When the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department contacted him, he went in for an interviewed. The department had to make sure he was physically fit and mentally stable through a psychological test.

Once he accomplished all of those steps, Deputy Schickert was sent to Grand Island for 16 weeks of training. There, they taught him everything from writing reports to shooting, laws and people’s rights. During the training, they gave the recruits two chances of retakes, so if anyone failed any test twice, then they were out. Once he passed that milestone on the road to becoming a deputy, he was then sent off for three months of field training. Afterwards, he had a year’s probation before being officially, fully hired. After endless time of training and studying, he was at last a deputy.

“He always has a smile on his face when I see him,” sophomore Hallie Elgan said. “He makes me feel very safe and secure at school, and he gives me candy.”

One thing that Deputy Schickert is known for is his candy bowl where many students stop in daily to snatch a couple pieces. One of the reasons why Deputy Schickert embraces his job is because when he came back after his ten-year break he found himself working with new (but familiar) names. The students that he once guarded starting in 2000 now have kids that go to this school. There is an overwhelming amount of “thank you’s,” from previous students because they were so grateful for what he did for them when they were in high school and are delighted that their kids are protected by him as well.

“I know I am not going to reach every kid, but when you have a kid come up and say, ‘I want to go into law enforcement just because of talking to you,’ or, ‘Thanks to you, I got off of drugs,’ that makes it all worth it,” Deputy Schickert said. “I was told in my psychiatric evaluation I have a big brother complex, I feel like I need to fix everything and I have to protect everyone.”

In GPS, school resource officers are in all the secondary schools and visit all of the elementary buildings. It is a lot of responsibility.

“I feel like it would be my fault for something happening in the school,” Deputy Schickert said. “I feel like this is my family here. You are my kids, teachers are my siblings and I have to protect you guys.”

GHS is its own little family and Deputy Schickert helps make it feel that way while also allowing students to feel protected in all aspects of the day.

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About the Contributor
Harlee Boyd, Reporter
Harlee Boyd is a sophomore at GHS and this is her second year with Gretna Media. She serves as a reporter. She is interested in journalism because she likes to share what is happening around the school and community. Her favorite thing to write is feature stories. Besides being in journalism she likes to barrel race, go shopping, hang out with friends, and go on vacations. 

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