Grand Forks’ first school officer retires

On her last day of work Wednesday, Grand Forks Police Department Cpl. Susan Shirek, the school resource officer for middle schools, wipes away a tear at a Valley Middle School graduation ceremony for students completing an anti-gang program. Photo credit: John Stennes/Grand Forks Herald.

More than 50 students took a seat Wednesday on the floor of the library at Grand Forks’ Valley Middle School awaiting police Cpl. Susan Shirek’s presentation.

“Today is a great day,” Shirek told the group, which had just completed a gang resistance program with her. “It’s graduation day. And, it’s my last day here.”

Her last sentence resulted in a collective “Awww,” from students. The sentiment brought tears to the school resource officer’s eyes.

Starting as the school district’s first school officer in 2001, Shirek is retiring this week from her post and from the Grand Forks Police Department after 25 years.

“I told people I was going to make it three minutes without crying,” Shirek said. “It’s been fun working with all of you. It helps me go out on a really good note.”

In her position, Shirek served the city’s three middle schools — a job she said filled her day and then some.

Cpl. Dalee Wilkinson will be taking over Shirek’s post, one she noticed is much busier than a previous school officer job she held in Fargo. Wilkinson said she is ready for her new role.

“I had a good teacher,” she said.

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