Police Officer Inspires Students as He Rejoins Drum Line at His Old High School
Once a drummer, always a drummer — even in uniform.
Police Officer Ronnie Coleman, who spends every work day at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Virginia, just became a whole lot cooler to the kids who go there.
The 28-year-old school resources officer graduated from the same campus and is only 10 years older than the average senior. He played on the drum line as a student. And at last Friday's football game, he picked up the sticks again.
"I was a little rusty, but I still kind of had it," Coleman told InsideEdition.com Wednesday. "On the video, it looks very fast. But it's not that hard."
A video posted online of Coleman riding the drums with the rest of the line has gone viral, garnering praise from students and parents alike.
"He is interacting with the students and showing everyone cops are not bad people. I know his family also ... good job Ronie!!!!" wrote one poster.
"Rock on Coleman!!!" wrote another.
This is Coleman's first year as a campus cop. Before that, he rode patrol for eight years. His new job is to interact with the kids, eat lunch with them, walk the halls during class breaks and just generally keep an eye on things.
"I've only been here a month," he said. "It is the funnest job I've ever had. There is always something going on. The days fly by."
He really wanted to connect with his charges. "I wanted to let them see that I was a person, too." So he asked the bandleader if he could play the drum line, like he used to do a decade ago.
He made his thumping debut two weeks ago. "The kids loved it and the parents loved it," he said. So last Friday he did it again, this time so it could be captured on video.
"The whole school comes up to me now and says 'Did you see how many views you have now? It's past 1 million!'''
Coleman says the high school, by and large, has few problems. "We have occasional fights," he says. Since classes started a month ago, there hasn't been a single drug bust.
"We have a really good school," he says.
And Coleman, by virtue of his sticks, has real campus cred.