School in Chagrin Falls Gives Surprise Send-Off to South Russell Officer

Chagrin Falls - Students, staff and faculty came together Tuesday to honor a South Russell policeman who has become a part of the Gurney Elementary School family.

Officer Mike Kramer has been a presence in the elementary school since 2012, connecting with the students and staff inside and making them feel protected.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, schools across the country were shaken. The South Russell police chief and his department offered any support they could to Gurney in response to the tragic event. Immediately, the South Russell police were present on campus at arrival and dismissal every school day to show security. Officer Kramer was one of the first officers assigned to be on campus and has been patrolling the school since then, interacting with not only students and staff, but parents as well.

He went above and beyond by learning everyone’s names, shoveling snow off sidewalks, helping a parent of a child with separation anxiety, assisting a student to the clinic after falling on the sidewalk, and even lending a hand to a parent with a stalled car. He is well-known by students, their families and staff members because of his kind acts.

“We can only hope that the officers who fill his role at Gurney most often will follow in his footsteps and see the value in that personal connection,” said Principal Rachel Jones, Gurney Elementary School.

Office Kramer is retiring this month from the South Russell police force. His final day patrolling Gurney at arrival and dismissal was March 19, and the Gurney community couldn’t let him go without a proper goodbye. As a symbol of the value that the school community feels that Kramer has added over the years, they gave him a surprise “clap-out.”

Everyone involved wore “police department blue” clothing and at 2:45 p.m., Officer Kramer was ushered through the front doors to be greeted by children lining the halls, applauding in his honor. Two students escorted him through the halls and each class created cards of thanks to give to him. You can see the video of the "clap out" below.

Photo and video courtesy of The Chagrin School District

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