Tea with Officer Lee

Written By: Sydney Brown and Tiffany Ngari
Photography By: Tiffany Ngari
9th Grade

December 21, 2018

IIANT – Although the police are here to protect us, they are often seen as scary, unapproachable people. However, the lesser known officers are those kind, caring, everyday heroes who help keep their communities safe. IIANT recently recruited one such hero: a School Resource Officer (SRO) named Officer Janio Lee.

Officer Lee was raised in Richardson, Texas. As a child he wanted to be a professional athlete, a military fighter jet pilot, or a police officer. His parents did not support the idea of joining the police force, so he ended up graduating from the University of Texas – Dallas with a business degree. He worked in corporate America for years, his police officer dreams far behind him. Then tragedy struck.

On September 11, 2001, fear clutched the hearts of all Americans, including Officer Lee. “Everybody knows exactly what they were doing the moment the towers were hit,” says Officer Lee. 9/11 was his turning point. Instead of “whining and crying”, he stepped in to make a difference. He became a police officer, and since then, has served as a patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant, and a school resource officer.

Officer Lee is the perfect example of the underrepresented police officer. When you look at him you “don’t just see the uniform, you see the person.” He shows that all cops aren’t tyrannical, horrible racists, but are in fact human beings. Officer Lee loves Jeeps, motorcycles, martial arts, and sports (especially the Cowboys, Longhorns, and Dallas Stars). But more importantly, he walks the halls, checks the doors, and gets to know us at lunch… all to protect us.