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Tennessee police captain tells officers to “remain real cops,” tells them not to apply for SROs openings

Captain Tony Willis (Source: Knoxville Police Dept)

A Knoxville police captain told officers during a June morning announcement that there were three School Resource Officer positions open, but that if anyone applied their application would never make it to the Public Safety Building.

According to a transcript obtained by the Knox News, Captian Tony Willis was the man who discouraged his fellow officers to not apply for the SRO positions. 20 minutes after announcing the job openings Captain Willis returned to the subject saying, “If you know anybody who wants to go (be an) SRO, discourage that, let them know that they should remain a real cop.”

Knoxville police provide 14 SROs across 11 different middle/high schools in the city. They are tasked with protecting the students and faculty at their assigned schools. They are also directed to build relationships with students to help prevent problems.

The department released a statement saying, “As sworn officers, SROs are treated with the same respect and care as any other officer in the department.”

Knoxville police say it will look into the comments, though it did not say it has disciplined Capt. Willis yet.

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  1. It never ceases to amaze me that people do not think of School Based Law Enforcement officers as “real cops.“ yet they will put us in the schools to protect their most precious treasures in a day and time where the wolves are infiltrating campuses. You go be a real cop Captain, in the meantime when the Wolves come to our doors to hurt our kids we will stop them before you have an opportunity to get there. Mark my word.
    Donnie Wayne Gulley
    Chief of Police
    Warren ISD
    Warren, Texas


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