CLAREMORE, Okla.— Claremore’s first School Resource Officer, Robin Blair is retiring.
The 52-year old mother of two has lived in Claremore and Foyil area all her life and attended some of the same Claremore Public Schools she has been serving for the last fourteen years.
“I knew I wanted to be a police officer when I was in Kindergarten,” said Blair.
Blair studied at Rogers State University, where she was voted “Criminal Justice Student of the Year in 1990”
Blair got married later, and had two children and took a regular job. Then she told her husband she wanted to be a police officer.
“He wasn’t too keen on it at first,” Blair recalls.
She decided to study to be a Paralegal, but that didn’t last long.
“That bored me to tears after about a year and a half of college,” says Blair. “I switched to Criminal Law, without my husband knowing, and graduated with a Criminal Law degree and sprung it on him.”
Blair graduated from University Center of Tulsa, with a Batchelor’s Degree in Criminal Law, with minors in Paralegal and Criminal Justice and applied for a position with Claremore PD.
“They didn’t have any women there at the time and I told them the needed a woman,” says Blair. “Mickey Perry, who was the Chief before, called about six, eight months later and said ‘Hey are you still interested?’”
After completing the year-long process of interviews, tests and training to become a police officer, Blair was finally able to realize her life-lone dream.
“I was thrilled about it,” she says. “I loved putting on the uniform. I was so proud of myself.”
When she was hired in 1997, Blair was only the second woman to join the Claremore Police Department, serving as a patrol officer for seven years.
In 2004, the job of School Resource Officer was created and Blair applied for the position.
“They gave it to Danny Dobbins,” Blair recalls. “But then a few months later, he made sergeant and so they put me in the position, their saving grace I think.”
As the first School Resource Officer, Blair had no idea what to expect. After a one-week conference, she was set loose in the schools, but she knew it was imperative to get the school administration behind her.
“I made it known that I was not here to step on anybody’s feet,” Blair said. “I really wanted to come in and make the schools safer for all the kids.”
“It was just a blessing that this kind of job came up,” says Blair. “This is what I wanted to do and I’ve been doing it for 14 years.”
Blair says the staff at the schools have been “fantastic.” Whether it was taking sick kids home or going to their homes to get them out of bed for school or just talking to the kids to find out what’s going on with their lives, she has always gone the extra mile, doing whatever she needed to, for the kids.
“I also put a big bowl of candy on my desk when I first came here,” Blair says. “And I had kids in my office every day, telling me stories.”
In addition to her duties as the School Resource Officer, Blair taught self-defense classes using the RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) system. She has also travelled across the state of Oklahoma to promote “A Child is Missing,” a program that assists law enforcement in locating and recovering missing children, elderly and people with disabilities.
Blair says she will always be grateful to Mickey Perry For giving her this job.
“I’ll always be thankful that he gave me this opportunity,” says Blair with sigh. “I got to have a 21-year career and it’s about over with, and I’m going to go out and do some more stuff.”
Blair says that things are changing and she needs to change to. That it’s time to go and see what else she can do.
“My dream is to go sell snow cones on the beach,” Blair says with a laugh. “I really want to go live on an island.”
She plans to take an island vacation later this month, and says she may not come back, but she also says she has several opportunities if it doesn’t work out.
“I’ve made some amazing friends and contacts,” Blair said. “I’m so really, really, thankful to the schools, I can’t say that enough, for the way they’ve treated me.”
Blair is going out on the highest of notes.
“My best day, BEST day, was the last day of school,“ said Blair.
A parent at Claremont Elementary had brought some chicken eggs, so the kids could watch them hatch and see how the chicks developed. Thursday morning, the week before school ended, they came to school and the chicks were gone. while examining surveillance video a maintenance worker was seen taking the chicks. The school contacted the employee and told them to bring back the chickens. The worker, who was subsequently fired, brought two chickens back Friday night and left them, in a box, in the classroom. Monday morning the chickens were discovered, both had died.
“I didn’t hear about this until Wednesday,” Blair said “But one of the chickens wasn’t the chicken that was taken from the classroom.”
She asked who the person was and Friday morning she called the captain and said she had to go out of district. When the captain asked why, she replied,
“A chicken has been kidnapped from Claremont and I’ve got to go get this chicken. The kids are devastated.”
She drove to the suspects home and told her that one of the chickens they left at the school wasn’t one of the ones they had taken and she wanted that chicken and she knew what it looked like. She pointed to it and said,
“I need that chicken right there.”
She got the chicken and a box and got back in her patrol car and drove back to Claremore.
“So I pull up to Claremont, I get out of my car and the kids are all out, because it 11:30 lunch time,” says Blair. “And they all run up to me, ‘Our chicken! Our chicken!’ I was their hero. That was a GREAT day.”