Easing Traffic Woes: Officer Zinser

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BY OWEN DINGLE

Mariemont High School has undergone some big changes this new school year, and one change that students have noticed is a man in a police uniform.

Officer Zinser explains how policemen must wear their hat in formal pictures. PHOTO BY DINGLE

Officer Zinser explains how policemen must wear their hat in formal pictures. PHOTO BY DINGLE

Officer Zinser has been in the force for 37+ years, serving as Police Chief for Union Township.  He now works here at the high school as our Student Resource Officer

Some students are questioning why the school thinks it’s necessary to have a police officer present. Junior Max Geers says “I feel like our school is safe enough, I don’t think we need the cop. We’ve never had one in the past, so why do we need one now?”

Many students speculate the reason the school decided we need a cop in our lunchroom, but, contrary to popular belief, the school had little to do with it.

Mariemont Police Chief Richard Hines personally selected Zinser to be stationed as the Student Resource Officer at our high school. Mariemont High School principal Dr. Renner says that Chief Hines has been advocating for a police presence at our school district for four to five years now.

“The board wanted to pilot a police officer at the high school, to see if having a police officer present would be beneficial to our school,” Renner says.

Students like Max Geers  are curious why we need a police officer in the lunchroom, but most students are unaware about the responsibilities Zinser is tasked with.

During my lunch bell, I sat down with the officer to get some insight on his responsibilities.

“I patrol the cafeteria, and between lunches I check and make sure the exterior doors are all closed properly,” Zinser said. “Sometimes I’ll be in my patrol car, scouting on the parking lots and making sure everything is in order.”

The presence of a Student Resource Officer is common at other high schools. Other schools in the area have been utilizing their police force. Turpin High School, for example, has multiple police officers on campus to enforce the rules.

Maxwell Carter, a senior at Turpin, gave me some insight on their police situation at their school. “Yeah, we’ve had cops at our school since I was a freshman. We have about 2 or 3 cops on our campus everyday,” he said.

In my interview with Zinser, I also asked him about operating the traffic light outside of the the high school.

“I understand that it is of importance to the students to get out of the line quickly, so I try to speed up the traffic by controlling the times of the green light,” said Zinser.

Senior Anna Henderson gives her opinion on the traffic problem. “The traffic getting out of the school used to be really slow,” she said. “I used to leave the campus anytime between 3:10 and 3:15, but now I get out before 2:57 every day.”

12th grader Clara Sholtz explained how she now has little to no trouble getting out of the line of traffic. “It seems to be a lot quicker because of the officer,” she said. “I always want to wave to him because he looks so bored and lonely!”

For students who are unaware or curious of the history our after school’s traffic problem, peer journalist for the Warpath Gunnar Nixon wrote an article about the problems and irritations of getting out of the school’s traffic, and you can find that article here.

You can see Officer Zinser stationed on the corner of Pocahontas Ave and Wooster Pike everyday after the final bell rings, manning the traffic light box.