Updated on Jan. 5
Richard Pacheco was one of two School Resource Officers at Shawnee Mission East until his resignation Nov. 18 after an arrest for aggravated assault. He was an SRO Officer for almost 10 years. SRO officers stay on campus during school to keep the school safe, teach students the importance of opting out of drug and alcohol use, and help with things like vehicle registration for each car lot. They also attend athletic events to make sure students remain safe.
Pacheco was born and raised in Wyandotte County along with his older brother, J.J. When Pacheco was young his favorite things to do were play soccer and basketball, hang out with friends, and rap. Pacheco and J.J. rapped together eventually forming the rap group “Mexicans4Lif”.
Pacheco attended Bishop Ward private High School. In his teenage years he continued to play baseball and soccer leisurely, but wrestling was the sport he competed at. Pacheco wrestled all four years in high school in the 152 lbs. weight class. Even as a freshman with no wrestling experience at all, Pacheco was wrestling varsity. Though an athlete, Pacheco took much pride in his grades and academical ability. He was first in his class of 75 during his senior year, a member of NHS, and he had almost a semester of college completed through AP classes. One of Pacheco’s favorite things to do in high school when not participating in sports or school was to cruise around in his ‘87 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with his friends and blast rap music.
After high school, Pacheco attended two years at Kansas City Kansas Community College on a full ride, and then two years at UMKC on an academic scholarship. Pacheco majored in Business before deciding to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.
Pacheco had many influences in his decision to become a Police officer. He had an Uncle who worked in Law Enforcement as well as a next door neighbor. Pacheco had always had interest in being a Police officer. During one of his earlier jobs working at a store similar to Target as a cart attendant, called Ventures , Pacheco used to get a kick out of helping the store’s Lost Prevention Agents chase down people who stole from the store.
Pacheco started his Law Enforcement career at the Nelson-Atkins museum as a security officer making sure people didn’t destroy art. He then landed his first job as a Police officer in Kansas City Missouri. At the age of 21 Pacheco was thrown right into action at KCMO. Many of the new recruits got the first weekend off after training, but Pacheco begun work right away. On his first night as a Police officer Pacheco was involved in a car chase pursuing a car with a group of gang members. After the police caught the gang members, they ran. One member stayed in the car. He was a paraplegic injured from gang violence. Although the gang member tried to pull a gun on Pacheco, the Police were able to arrest the suspect and return to the station safely. Pacheco has also worked in Holt, MO and Mosby, MO. Out of his 15 year career as a Police officer he has held a Chief of Police position for seven.
Pacheco came to SM East for a SRO position in 2002. He took it because he wanted to be a Kansas state officer and work more hours. He also kept his position as reserve officer in Mosby, MO to keep certification in Missouri. Pacheco like both the SRO position and working out in Missouri, but he thinks both have their pros and cons. His favorite thing about the balance is that it allows him to do a lot. One day he could be helping high school students and the next he could be in a car chase or busting a Marijuana operation. Some of the bad things about each are that the school jobs isn’t as exciting and the street officer job has a lot of paperwork. Pacheco works as a SRO officer every weekday and works as a reserve officer on the nights he chooses. Pacheco hopes to continue to work at school and in Missouri, to maintain the balance.
Pacheco is married with three daughters. His wife is named Norma, and his daughters are named: Maria, Katelyn, and Taylor. The girls are 10, 12, and 13 years old. Raising his girls is important to Pacheco as well as enjoying the years he has with them. The girls love to hear stories about being a Police officer from him and they also enjoy listening to him rap.