Faces of 501: Sgt. Gary Williams
Topeka Public Schools Police Officer Sgt. Gary Williams has worked for the district since Aug. 2014. In addition to his work at Highland Park High School he is a member of the Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Refueling Wing, Williams will leave for deployment with the 190th on Aug. 28.
“The good part about working for Topeka Public Schools is the overall positive attitude. Just about every day, I get to come to HPHS, and be greeted by smiling faces! Students and staff alike! Also the school hours are fantastic. Having been in public service all my life, I have rarely had a "regular" schedule. I love being home in the evenings, as I don't feel like I'm missing out on life anymore. When I'm not working, I'm usually working! I have two young children, and of course they occupy most of my off duty time. On top of family, I've been a member of the 190th Security Forces Squadron at Forbes Field for 20 years. I have enjoyed my career at the 190th, and have no plans to retire anytime soon. Who knows, at this point I might try to do 30 years! The other huge part of my life is teaching self-defense. I have a 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, which lead me to understand I needed to learn other stuff to augment that system. So I went out and learned boxing, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Those things lead me to fighting in MMA. I'm not sure if I'm going to fight anymore, but I will teach self-defense, and firearms for the rest of my life.
“I tell students to always get all the information you can before making a decision. Every day I see students at the school making decisions based on limited information. A lot of that is youth, and only seeing what you want to see. When the opportunity arises, and it often does, I tell students to gather as much information as you can, before you make a decision. I don't care what the topic is, gather the information from all sources, and make that decision based on your values, and the facts at hand.”