“Not many people have the opportunity or are aware of the power they have to make someone happy.”

These are the words of police officer Arthur Parker, who goes above and beyond his duties at Clark High School in Plano, Texas to spread positivity as much as he can.

The 57-year-old has worked as a school resource officer for 27 years, tasked with keeping a watchful eye over the entire student body and faculty. In actuality, he does far more than that.

The “Drunk” Police Officer

traffic controller
Photo by Mathias Reding

As a traffic director, Parker often dons wigs or props, and even dances along to the flow of traffic. For those that aren’t familiar with him, his antics have at times raised a few eyebrows. He is often so animated at his job that some onlookers have thought he was drunk!

“I had a patrol call and say someone called and said there’s an officer drunk in the street. They got a real call,” Parker told a local news outlet.

Even the school principal admitted to some initial skepticism. “My first impression was ‘oh my gosh, this is gonna be the person that’s gonna be protecting us’ because he did his normal goofy thing and went into some kind of character…”
adding that “he’s kept me laughing ever since.”

For those that do know him, his behavior is nothing new.

“He makes them laugh,” said Janice Williams, the high school’s principal.

For almost three decades, Parker has been a constant friendly face in the community at Clark High School. In this role, he wears many hats — literally and figuratively.

At times, he can be a comedian, lifting the spirits of those he passes by. Other times, he can be stern, encouraging students to get to class when they’re running behind. As a traffic director, he is closer to a performer, jumping around as he waves cars on — all while keeping everyone safe. He even brings a harmonica to the school at times to play students on in the halls.

At all times, though, he instills a positive outlook in those who look up to him. To the teenage students, he is a beacon of confidence, showing them that positivity is a mindset, and a contagious one at that. He is affectionally known as “OP” and one student — Sapida Abbasi — told a news outlet “OP, he really tries to find that connection. He’s mostly just taught me how to be confident no matter what.”

Another student reiterated: “When it’s fun, he’s always fun. When things get real, he’s strict.”

How One Man Had a Profound Impact on His Community

Students at Clark High School were so touched by Officer Parker’s commitment to their school, that they decided to show their appreciation in a big way. They planned a secret pep rally to surprise OP, deciding he should also be the recipient of the same joy he constantly extends to them.

So they did just that, complete with dance routines, musical numbers, and silly costumes. The entire school showed out for the rally, surprising Officer Parker in the school gymnasium.

Students and teachers alike roared with appreciation, even participating in a large choreographed dance in the style of his traffic directing. It wasn’t difficult for them to find the energy — all they had to do was mirror what OP had poured into their community for over 30 years.

Ever humble, he added, “I feel like I have so much to give and I’m still not giving enough.”

Officer Arthur Parker’s journey at Clark High School is a testament to the profound impact that one person can have on a community. His unwavering dedication and infectious spirit lift up everyone he crosses paths with, and the student body’s response underscores just how contagious that energy can be.

All communities need an Officer Parker.

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