Some say he wrestled a wolf with only his bear hands, while others insist that he can sense danger from miles away. A new face has been roaming Jesuit’s halls, one that undoubtedly makes everybody feel a little safer while inside the “28 acres.”
Over the summer, the administration hired, for the first time in Jesuit’s history, a full-time security guard. However, calling this particular individual a security guard seems almost unfair, even completely ridiculous. With over thirty years of experience within the most intense divisions of the Dallas Police Department, our new head of security is, without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with.
Mr. Mike Scoggins, known as Officer Scoggins, came on board this year to coordinate security for the Jesuit campus both during school hours and after hours for extra-curricular events.
While not necessarily a direct result of the widely publicized national conversation of school security within the United States, Assistant Principal of Student Affairs Mark Knize says the decision to hire a full-time officer was “not an emotional decision, but a logical one that fits the community. It just made sense.”
“He provides an extra eyes and ears for us,” Knize explained, “He’s a guy who can help coordinate and direct safety drills as they evolve.”
With over 1,100 students and staff, securing the entirety of Jesuit is no easy task. However, Officer Scoggins insists that he’s more than up for the challenge. “My [goal] is to secure the premises for the students, making sure that they feel they are in a safe environment. We want a safe environment for everyone, staff and visitors included” Scoggins said.
One thing is for certain, Scoggins’ flourishing career as a very respected lieutenant within the Dallas Police force ensures that he possesses far more than the necessary credentials to protect the campus.
During his outstanding 33 year career within the Dallas Police Department, Scoggins supervised and commanded everything from the Special Weapons and Tactics force (S.W.A.T.), the traffic division, the vice division, the public integrity division, all the way up to the homicide division.
At the very start of his career, Scoggins was immediately thrown into the thick of the action – trial by fire. Fresh off the press with presumably squeaky-clean boots and a new outfit, he worked a single car unit during his first call out of the police academy. “On my first call off training, I handled a homicide all by myself. It was my first call out of the box,” Scoggins reminisced. How’s that for an intense first day on the job?
From that moment on, Officer Scoggins climbed through the ranks of the police department. Before becoming a lieutenant, he served as a sergeant on the S.W.A.T. team where he mostly handled situations with people who barricaded themselves with guns inside buildings. “Usually it was a mentally challenged person, who had some moments and threatened other people with guns and we would go in,” Scoggins said, “Fortunately, we never would have to use any excessive force and made the arrest. “
Following his tenure as both a sergeant and a lieutenant in special operations, Scoggins commanded the vice division, the traffic division, and the public integrity division. Within the integrity division, which investigates officers for felonious crimes, he “supervised many high profile investigations involving officers and drugs”.
From the public integrity division, he moved to the homicide division, where, much like his first call many years before, he was immediately tossed into the action. “My first major investigation in homicide was a quadruple murder. We actually went up to four people who were shot and killed at the scene,” Scoggins said.
Without a doubt, Scoggins experienced a wide range of challenges throughout his tenure in Dallas. However, one particular role specifically served the Jesuit community itself in a major way. In fact, many alumni over the past thirty years probably recognize the name of Officer Scoggins. Discounting current Jesuit students and recent graduates, Officer Scoggins isn’t, in the true sense of the phrase, a new face at all. “In 1980, I started working Jesuit’s parking lot security for all of the Jesuit games. I coordinated all of the security from 1980 all the way to 2007,” Scoggins said. Having been affiliated with Jesuit for a staggering 27 years, his history within the community outlasts that of almost every faculty member currently at Jesuit.
Not surprisingly, when he left Dallas in 2007 to assist in security at public schools in Austin, his son, Officer Jason Scoggins of the Dallas Police Department, assumed his role with parking lot security at Jesuit. In fact, you could say that Jesuit security has been a Scoggins family affair for over 30 years.
With his outstanding experience within the Dallas police and his long history with the Jesuit community, Officer Scoggins is, quite literally, the perfect fit as our head of security. His background within Dallas PD provides the experience needed to effectively “communicate with other campuses, schools, and law enforcement in the area to make sure we are doing things the right way and communicating with other people,” said Mr. Knize.
Having risked his life every single day, especially within the extremely dangerous S.W.A.T. division, Scoggins undoubtedly fulfills the qualities of a man for others. He’s someone who will risk everything in order to save the life of another. And it’s that background of service and willingness to give that attracted him to Jesuit. “Jesuit has always had the ‘men for others’ aspect, which always interested me in working with the students and staff,” Scoggins said.
And though his intimidating, yet inspiring background in law enforcement may scare away some freshman, Scoggins welcomes and appreciates interactions with students, asserting “he’s always asking for recommendations from students about what improvements can be made for a safe environment. If they think of something they can email me. We are always looking for things and thinking out of the box.”
Jesuit would like to welcome back Officer Mike Scoggins and is grateful for both his contribution to Dallas and his continued contribution to Jesuit.