• May 15Dance Company Performance Wednesday 5/22 at 5:30 - Woodbridge Community Center
  • December 21WMS Boys Basketball Plays AMS today at 4:00 in AMS
  • October 16WMS softball team plays Avenel in the playoff game today at WHS, 6:00!
The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Officer Derrick helps fight for people who can’t fight back

Sam Morel
Officer Derrick Sims is hard at work creating a positive environment at WMS.

Nowadays, people have this constant fear of ,”Why?” Why are there security guards everywhere? Why do we have these drills? Why do I not feel safe? The news doesn’t make any of these fears any better. We see interviews and crimes on the news, making us believe that not only is the world unsafe, but oftentimes people fear the people that are supposed to protect us.

It’s hard living in this generation; having the constant feeling of needing to turn your back if you’re walking alone. Due to the struggles of today, I wanted to interview Officer Derrick Sims, a security guard at WMS and former Port Authority Sergeant, and get insight on these issues. 

Sims explained how he grew up to who he is now, “Being a lightskin kid in a black neighborhood you get picked on a lot. I would say to myself that there’s going to be a time when I’m older that nobody’s ever going to put their hands on me again.”  When Sims was little “[he] got beat up a lot until the point where [his] mom had to put him in karate school.” He was only 7 years old at the time.  In many ways, these situations were not taken as seriously as they are now, especially for little kids.

Sims stated, “When I turned 15, I started working at a car wash. Legally, you’re supposed to work at 16. At the time, minimum wage was $3.35 and I was getting paid $3 an hour because I wasn’t supposed to be working but I didn’t care, as long as I could pay for my karate school.”

Statistics do show that karate helps improve confidence, leadership skills, and boldness. If we apply this to Sim’s past situation it does show how being in karate school helped him overall, not even just for defending himself, but for him to be able to feel confident

Sims knew he was going to be a police officer since he was 5 years old. He knew he was “meant [to give] others his wisdom and spirit.” 

Along with his great source of knowledge Sims is a very approachable person. He is definitely the type of person you can go to without feeling judged, which is his goal at WMS. He is also “very big on mental health.” He said, “I hope I can get you through a difficult time because outside of school you don’t know what somebody is going through. Their home, with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you just don’t know.”

It’s paramount to live by the saying, “Treat people with kindness.” As Sims stated before, you just don’t know what happens through closed doors. 

It is more important now than ever for security guards and police officers to treat people with kindness and respect in order to gain it.  Sims said, “A lot of students were taught that police officers aren’t their friend. Things they see on television that we all know about, that some police officers did horrible things. I’m glad I’m here to let the children see me and get to know me and realize that there’s good and bad in every profession. You can’t judge all police officers because you got a few idiots out there doing horrible things.“ 

Sims really believes that “forming a bond with students genuinely makes the environment safe and feel safe.” He also said that one of the most “positive things” about working at a middle school is “interacting with the kids.”

It’s important for Sims that people understand he is here to protect us and guarantee our safety.  He believes the first step to that is forming a bond. He said, “When I first came in the very beginning of September, I could see that kids felt intimidated. I could read their thoughts perfectly. Now, I have besties all over the place. I’m glad lots of students are seeing that I am their friend and I’m not going to do anything to hurt you. All I’m going to do is help you.”

Not only does he feel a connection with his ‘besties’ but he also discussed that there is a need for safety in middle schools across the country, “ The craziness, the fact you can’t leave until somebody tells you to leave, and the pandemonium correlates a lot to the outside world.”  

He believes that an environment plays a huge role in mentally and physically feeling safe.  Sims stated, “Safety to me means to feel wanted in a place where you don’t expect to feel wanted.” 

Adding to Sim’s thoughts, students should be able to walk into a place and not have to ask themselves 100 questions of doubt or worry about what happened in the news last night. This is why Sims plays such an important role in assuring the safety of the children and staff. 

This is your reminder that violence isn’t just portrayed in a form of bullying or weapon abuse. Violence is also emotional. Emotional violence and physical violence are just as important. If you ever feel threatened by someone, mentally, physically, or domestically, speak up. 

People like Officer Sims are here to listen, they’re your friends in your best and worst times. Always remember that you are never alone and you are worthy of being heard. Let’s help spread the word of violence and help educate others about today’s world. 


Here are some hotlines and resources on violence. If it’s an emergency please call 911. 


National Domestic Violence Hotline – (800) 799-7233 or text START to 88788

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline – (866) 331-9474 or text 22522

Woodbridge Township Domestic Violence & Abuse Services 

National Child Abuse

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Warrior Messenger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *