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Officer asked not to wear uniform at daughter's school speaks out

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  • School asks officer not to wear uniform on campus

    School asks officer not to wear uniform on campus

    He's not the type of armed man on campus you'd expect parents to be concerned about -- but apparently a police officer dropping off his daughter at school was just too scary for some parents in Mesa.
    He's not the type of armed man on campus you'd expect parents to be concerned about -- but apparently a police officer dropping off his daughter at school was just too scary for some parents in Mesa.
MESA, Ariz. -

We first reported on this story a few weeks ago. It made national headlines. A police officer dropping off his daughter at her elementary school in Mesa was asked by the principal not to wear his police uniform on campus again because it frightened parents.

We've gotten thousands of responses about this story.

Up until now, we hadn't heard directly from that police officer. But now we are.

Officer Scott Urkov went to pick up his daughter from school right after SWAT training and was wearing this green uniform. You could see his gun strapped to his leg, but you could also see his badge on his belt and the patch on his shoulder indicating he was part of a local SWAT team.

Apparently this was too much for some parents who called the principal of Entz Elementary School.

"It's a little, a little heartbreaking to me," said Coolidge Police Officer Scott Urkov.

Officer Scott Urkov almost couldn't believe the principal's request to not wear his uniform on the school campus.

"I was definitely taken aback especially from what I just came from being at the active shooter drill, then going to another school and being told if I could leave my weapon and not wear my uniform when I pick up my daughter."

This is what he was doing before he picked up his daughter -- active shooter training at an east valley school, where SWAT officers were practicing their response to a shooter on a school campus.

Officer Urkov went straight from this to his daughter's school. He says he was only there for five minutes.

"I went to the same spot. Al the parents sat down on the bench and waited."

Last week, school officials explained to us the parents' concern.

"There were some parents that were concerned about that fact there was a fully armed officer on campus and they spoke to the principal about it," said Helen Hollands, Mesa Unified School District.

Officer Urkov has received an outpouring of support in the last week, including from these people who live across the street from the elementary school.

They posted a sign reading "If he showed up at your home to save your family's lives, would you have a problem with his uniform and gun?" for people to see, and the Coolidge Police chief says he's been getting messages of support from people not just here in the U.S., but from other countries.

"Scott is in a catch 22 situation there. My policy is if he's readily identifiable in uniform we expect him to be armed. I have not seen a situation where an officer was asked not to wear a uniform to a school, over the past couple of decades, in fact usually we are welcome," said Joe Brugman, Coolidge Police Chief.

The school has since welcomed Officer Urkov back to campus in uniform to be part of an assembly.

"We apologize that he took the discussion in the wrong way, it was not the intent of the principal to offend him," said Hollands.

Officer Urkov says he has no hard feelings.

"I think it was misinformation that was provided to parents who called, and I think it's a moment everyone can learn from, and better ways the situation could've been handled."

Officer Urkov says he doesn't wear this uniform all the time, but he's worn it while picking up his daughter from school three times before this incident.

He works the graveyard shift, and says sometimes he has to go straight from training to school to pick up his daughter on time.

This story struck a nerve on Facebook when it was first reported. And we're sure people will have a lot to say tonight.

Leave us a comment below or chime in on our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/MyFoxPhoenix/posts/568933429821875 

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