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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Isaacs to retire from security position

Photos Provided By Scott Isaacs
Security Officer Scott Isaacs takes a selfie while sitting in his car in his uniform.

“To protect and serve”, security officer Scott Isaacs said in response to what he believes he shall do. To serve and protect the  community with any and all sets of skills Isaacs believes is possible.

Many don’t know what they want to do until they’re older. However, some know exactly what they want to do since and have since they were a child. Isaacs was just that. 

“I learned early on, around middle school, that I always wanted to be a state trooper. I was fortunate enough to follow that path seamlessly and by the young age of 22 my dream came true,” Isaacs said. “I got hired by the Illinois State Police in 1989, I spent 27 years working there, and had ascended to the rank of master sergeant and day shift watch commander. I had an outstanding fun filled career”.

Many students will obtain a job while in high school. Isaacs was one of those students as well. He started his first job when he was 16 and stayed there until he went to work for the Illinois State Police. 

“I was 16. McDonald’s restaurant was my first job and only job before I started as a state trooper. It was my junior year in high school,” Isaacs said. “Before my senior year ended, I was already in management and I continued to be a manager at McDonald’s through college”.

After Isaacs had graduated high school, he continued his learning career at John A. Logan College.

“I attended John A. Logan College and was focused on criminal justice as my field of study. At the time, to apply to the Illinois State Police, you needed an associates degree or at least 60 semester hours of college in any field,” Isaacs said. “I had over 60 hours of college but did not have an associates degree. I had passed the test part, and the physical part of it and had got hired but never did get my degree”.

After getting hired on and finishing all his semester hours, Isaacs said he was successful, but someone on Isaacs’ side lines was always continuing to push for him to get his degree. 

“After getting employed by the State Police and doing really well, my mother actually stayed after me and every time I got promoted she was behind me saying well that’s good but, did you get your college degree?  ‘Mother, I made it i’m successful. I got my job, and I’m promoted to command’ and she would say it again,” Isaacs said. “Twenty seven years later in the last year I worked for the Illinois State Police without telling my mother I went back to John A Logan College and got my college degree. I went to night school and graduated in December of the last year I worked for the State Police. My mothers’ birthday is Jan 10, for her birthday I wrapped up my diploma and gave it to her”. 

When Isaacs was in high school, and he said almost everyone had a shotgun hanging in the back of their truck. He now says he would’ve never seen a school security officer being among the careers that he would later take on.

“In 1989, school violence wasn’t really a thing until  1999 at Columbine (, Colorado),” Isaacs said. “So if you were to ever ask me ‘At the end of your state police career would you possibly be in a school as an armed security officer?’ I would probably say there’s no chance. I really never saw myself doing this until our former superintendent, Michael Gauch, called me in 2018. I was recently retired. At the time I was operating a business that my son runs now. At the time I was ready to give that business to my son and Mr Gauch hired me here as the Harrisburg Unit 3 safety director, doing armed security work. I thought it would be a good way to give back some of my skill sets that I still possess. I really enjoy dealing with young people and shaping the life of students”.   

Having a plan B was something Isaacs believed in having just in case

“Plan B was to be a carpenter. I did a little bit of it on the side,” Isaacs said. “I did a little bit while I was a State Trooper. I loved building things. It’s a talent I’ve been able to excel at as well. I’m pretty handy”. 

Serving over 25 years as a state officer and over five years as a school officer, Isaacs has 30 years of experience under his belt. 

“ I served six years as the safety director at Harrisburg Unit 3. It looks like when it’s done I’ll have seven and a half years. I’ll be retiring in October of 2025. I’m pretty proud of the work we’ve done here; I’ve put together a safety package that all students are aware of,” Isaacs said. 

Many schools around Harrisburg have seen the work Isaacs has put into the safety package. Oftentimes, schools from around the area will ask him to teach them what and how he has done things. 

“I’m sought out by other schools, I teach other schools around us our ways and how we do some things,” Isaacs said. “I’ve been able to accomplish a lot in this position and I’m very confident in the safety in our schools.”

Serving 27 years with the state police Isaacs believes he had one of the greatest careers working with, and pushing students who are involved in this kind of work, to pursue a job in that career force. 

“I served for 27 years one month for the Illinois State Police, it went by with the blink of my eyes,” Isaacs said. “I remember the very first day I had worked with the Illinois state police and I can remember the very last day. It was a Great career. I highly push kids that are involved with this kind of work to the organization because it really is a one of a kind organization top five in pay and top five in being a class act”. 

Being able to give back to the community is something Isaacs enjoys, as well as seeing others wanting to take on the job of police work.

“I tell all my kids I don’t care how much a job pays, if you hate it or hate doing it, It’s not worth having,” Isaacs said. “So you have to find the balance of something you love to do that you can also make a good financial living with. I was lucky enough to achieve it, out of all the years I had to go to work I never dreaded it or hated getting up to go to work. I absolutely loved each and every day, there were times where I wanted to do something with friends that day but I never never disliked my work”.

Being able to make relationships through all his careers has been one of Isaacs’ favorite memories. 

  “ All the relationships I have made and built along the way– it’s unbelievable, when you put that uniform on your community knows who you are,” Isaacs said. “I was always front and center. I’m very very well known in Southern Illinois because of my career. What I did along the way proceeds me and I’m very well known in this county even though I don’t live here anymore, it’s still like home to me. I would not trade the relations I was able to make on the way for anything. It’s been a heck of a ride, when it’s all said and done. I think I left it better than I found it”.

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About the Contributor
Riley Mize
Riley Mize, Staff Writer
Riley Mize is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her second year on the Purple Clarion staff. She participates in YFC and White Hats. Riley also likes to take photos, hiking and traveling.  After high school she plans on attending a university in Colorado, pursue her career in nursing and to become a nurse anesthetist.  “Allowing students to express what is going on in the world through stories and articles, being allowed to put their opinion in things if they feel a certain way about something, is really something I am grateful we get to do, and is also important.” 

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