Protect, serve – and mentor: School resource officer connects with elementary school students


School Resource Officer Brandon Pounds of the Zionsville Police Dept. is a hero and a friend to students at Trailside Elementary School.

Trailside Elementary fourth-grader Connor Edington of the 4th grade said Pounds reminds everyone to “always do good.”

Pounds, an Indianapolis native, is the first SRO for Trailside Elementary, the town’s newest school.

“It’s truly an honor to work for the youth community,” Pounds said. “You’re like a superhero to the younger students.”

School resource officers provide safety for students, staff and visitors. However, Pounds said his job is about much more than “catching bad guys”.

“(It’s also) letting the students know that the job of a police officer is to be a branch of protection, trust, but also friendship is an important part of my role as an SRO,” he said. “I want to make sure that the students understand that I’m not only in the line of their safety but that they can rely on me in making decisions and come to me for help.”

Pounds has served as a police officer for nearly six years, with more than two years of service at the ZPD. He has also served as a school security officer for eight years at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.

Brandon is one of our newest officers, and he came as a lateral police recruit from Warren Township Schools,” ZPD Capt. Drake Sterling said. “ He is certainly someone we are excited to have in our department.”

Pounds said his experience working in security fostered his ability to provide safety by building positive relationships through communication and interaction as well as mastering the skill of deescalating.

“The only thing I had was my voice, personality and presence as security at Warren Central, so I was able to create a skill in communication and use it to de-escalate situations with students and parents just by being myself,” Pounds said. “I was able to create different outlets to give individuals assistance.”

Pounds said his decision to become a police officer came from a desire to help better the community and establish meaningful connections with students to serve as a role model.

“Officer Pounds has quickly become a beloved member of our school community,” said Jennifer Raycroft, principal ofTrailside Elementary School. “He does an amazing job of building relationships with the students and the parents, and he’s incredibly responsive and visible in our school. He’s not one to stay in his office very often. He’s constantly monitoring safety in our building.”

From playing board games in the classroom to eating lunch in the cafeteria with students, Pounds said he wants to provide elementary school students with a positive example of law enforcement.

“He is nice and kind to everyone, and he makes funny faces,” Edington said. “He gives everyone fist-bumps and plays with everybody at recess.”      

Pounds, who also is a father, enjoys his job and said he’s grateful for his special role in the Zionsville community.

“He keeps our school safe, and I like how he draws because he takes his time,”  said Julia H., a first-grade student.

Zionsville Police Dept. Officer Brandon Pounds with Trailside Elementary School students on Officer Appreciation Day. (Photo courtesy of Zionsville Community Schools)

On track to law enforcement career

Zionsville Police Dept. Officer Brandon Pounds, a student resource officer at Trailside Elementary School, was a college track standout before beginning his law enforcement career.

Pounds attended Indiana State University on a track and field scholarship. His specialty event was the shot put.

Pounds said his athletic background helped him when he was training to be a police officer.

“When I made the decision to go into law enforcement, I was able to use the characteristics and strategies that I developed from competing at a national level,” Pounds said. “My critical thinking, organization and discipline all helped me to become an officer.”   

Pounds has a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana State.