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MHS has a new student resource officer, Deputy Robert Sidow

By Heidi Daniels, Round Table reporter

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He walks the halls with a coffee cup in hand, securing the school building, making sure everything is in order. He stops by classes, to sit and observe the class, then makes his way back to his office. He sits at his computer, and types away. At the end of the end, he stands by the buses making sure everyone gets home safely.

Since Deputy Andy Smothers has taken leave for medical reasons, Deputy Robert Sidow has willingly come to take his place as a temporary Student Resource Officer (SRO).

“I’m up here, because Smothers is not… to help him out… and they wanted to get someone up here, since you guys have gone a few weeks without someone,” said Sidow.

Prior to coming to Middletown, Sidow has served as an SRO at Brunswick High school for three years, overall spending 16 years total as a police officer. In the years he has been in the police force, Sidow has served as patrol officer, spent two years undercover with the Federal Task Force and has went back to patrol for six years.

His father was his biggest inspiration. He was a West Virginia state trooper, then went into Federal Bureau of Investigation and retired. “He was somebody that was very easy to look up to,” said Sidow. “He was well-liked wherever he worked, and it was easy to say ‘I want to do that, too.’ I want to make a little bit of an impact in a community like he did.”

Sidow added that he didn’t join the force to “drive fast and carry a gun,” he took on this occupation to give back, and in 20 years, be able to walk away saying that he has done some good things in the community, and made an impact, even if it’s small.

When asked about one of his most impacting cases that he has been on, Sidow said that he does not have one in particular.  What keeps him motivated is when someone reaches out to him a year later, whether it was sitting down and talking with them or arresting them, and them thanking him.

Before becoming an officer, he did a little bit of everything: construction,   banking and taking an internship with the F.B.I when he was in college. With the internship, he traveled during the summer, went down to the Baltimore FBI field office and helped with the White Collar crime unit. When working with the White Collar division, he “helped with investigations, assisted in whatever they needed, did a few search warrants, did some interviews with suspects and victims… and basically filled in assistant roles.”

Outside of the uniform, Sidow enjoys spending his free time with his family. “It is the one thing you give up… I have worked a lot of holidays, a lot of nights, and my family has always adjusted, and never complained.”

Whether it is going out shopping or getting a bit to eat, “My family is my priority… spend as much time, making up for some lost time,” said Sidow. Some specific activities he enjoys doing with his family are go fishing, camping or “on Sundays, maybe go out and play tennis with them… giving me the opportunity to spend time with them.”

Sidow said that if he could teach one thing to the Middletown High School students it would be that “[the students] don’t recognize how powerful [the high school] can be, if you take advantage of it.” He added that if the students just take advantage of the high school, it can open big doors, and help make things easier.

“Everyone is going to have regrets in their life, but you are at a time where you can alleviate those regrets. Don’t let the decisions today mess with your future selves, meaning don’t be 30 years old, living in your parents’ basement, because you didn’t take advantage of [the school].”

Sidow enjoys being here at Middletown, and will be here until further notice because “this is [Smothers’] school.”

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MHS has a new student resource officer, Deputy Robert Sidow