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Enhancing Safety With a New Campus Safety Officer

Posted 10/01/2023 by Carlie Quinney

TJ’s new CSO patrols the building by monitoring safety concerns and hazards. photo by Makayla Vasquez

TJ’s new staff member reinforces safety throughout the school.

Due to ongoing issues with safety in schools, it is critical that students feel safe in their daily lives at school. High Schools in DPS find it mandatory to have a Campus Safety Officer on campus at all times. The career helps prevent any potential threats or disturbances. Spenser Ladd is Thomas Jefferson High School’s new Campus Safety Officer (CSO). A true understanding of Ladd comes from his ability to handle various student and safety related situations throughout the school, as well as his actions that are in the best interest of the community around him. 

Ladd is a TJ alumnus who graduated in 2011. Ladd started his career as a first responder shortly after graduating from Arapahoe Community College. More specifically, Ladd began training as a firefighter after college to become involved with public safety. The transition from firefighter to CSO exemplifies his devotion to helping others. Ladd felt encouraged to this sense when he was young. He explained that his mother noticed how he was fascinated by fire trucks when they would pass his house as a child. Ladd wanted to pursue his dream of training to become what he saw as a little kid. Ladd also explains that he felt inspired to become a CSO because of Woodie, who was the current one when Ladd was a highschool student at TJ. This year, many students have been greeted with his enthusiasm in the morning at the front door.  He hopes to bring a sense of reassurance to the school community for the school year. Ladd’s educational and career experiences all require courage. 

I began working to become a firefighter and was brought on to a department in 2018,” said Ladd. However, he felt encouraged to start working in DPS after he decided he wanted to earn his Emergency Medical Technician Basic Certification by returning to college.  “I left my one job as a firefighter to work for DPS, so I could return to college in 2020 just before COVID hit. I received my EMT Basic Certification in July of 2020. I did all this while working with DPS.” Ladd also plans to go back to school while working at TJ. 

An important quality that Ladd embodies is his balance between approachability and professionalism. Though he does have a friendly demeanor, he also takes his job at TJ very seriously. This combination of being approachable yet hardworking and serious is an asset to any profession, but specifically one that focuses on safety. Ladd is extremely passionate about public safety in general, “Honestly, I have always had a calling for public safety and refuse to give up on my dreams.” Ladd said. After going back to school, he hopes to either become a paid firefighter or a teacher at a fire science school. Ladd feels very fortunate to be where he is now, pursuing his dreams of guaranteeing safety in schools. 

Ladd’s connection to TJ is very valuable to him, “TJ is a school in DPS known to retain people really well. I am grateful to be back in the school I graduated from and working alongside some of my mentors from when I was in school.” He is enjoying working at TJ more than he ever thought possible and has made such positive impacts on the school environment. “I am loving working here and it’s been fun to see all the new faces and a bunch of the old ones. It’s challenging some days, but I have an amazing team that works with me and helps me out a whole bunch,” said Ladd.

Ladd’s arrival as the new CSO at TJ marks a valuable milestone for safety in the community. With the right experience and motivation, Ladd is confident that he can aid Thomas Jefferson High School to be a safe learning environment for everyone. Taking the importance of his role into consideration, Thomas Jefferson is excited to welcome Spenser Ladd as he kicks off the year with persistence.