Ready's dream comes to fruition at Viera High School


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Brevard County Sheriff’s Cpl. John Ready, left, and Viera High School Assistant Principal Tim Rooney watch traffic in front of Viera High School.

Photo Ernest Arico

John Ready always dreamed about becoming a police officer.

Ever since he was a child, Ready said he would watch TV shows such as “Cops” and think about what it would be like to be in law enforcement.

Today, Cpl. John Ready is in his second year as the school resource officer at Viera High School, the largest public high school in Brevard County with more than 2,200 students, teachers, staff and administrators.

Ready began his road to a career in law enforcement after his graduation in 1998 from Satellite High School. Following high school, where he played on the school’s varsity football team, Ready worked for nearly 10 years as a retail account representative for Coca-Cola.

But the dream of becoming a police officer continued to burn inside him. After being sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Ready enrolled in the police academy at Eastern Florida State College.

He graduated from the police academy in 2008 with a concentration in criminal justice, and the following year, joined the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Ready began working as a road patrol deputy and quickly became a field training officer and a member of the department’s SWAT team in 2012. He was later promoted to corporal and continued to serve on road patrol for three more years.

In 2017, Ready became the department’s school resource officer at Viera.

“I like it a lot at Viera,” he said while directing traffic in front of the high school. “I enjoy working with the kids. I like to interact with the kids. The kids aren’t afraid of me.”

Ready credits his success at Viera because he’s been able to build a good relationship with the students.

“They flock to me because I think they know I will listen to them,” he said. “I greet every one of them with a smile.”

Besides directing traffic, patrolling the halls, checking bathrooms and securing all doors, Ready holds special classes for students and parents.

He recently held a drug awareness class for freshmen and an awareness workshop about vaping.

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease.

Vaping has grown in popularity with the rise of e-cigarettes, which were introduced to the mass market in the U.S. in 2007. Vaping devices include not just e-cigarettes, but also vape pens and advanced personal vaporizers (also known as “MODS”). E-cigarettes, which resemble smoked cigarettes, and vape pens, which resemble large fountain pens, are typically simpler in design and less expensive than devices that have been customized by the user.

Ready said vaping is the number one issue facing school administrators and resource officers today.

“It’s ridiculous the number of students who are vaping,” he said. “I’m holding the seminar to inform the students and adults about its dangers and long-term effects.”

Besides vaping, Ready has to deal with cellphone and headphone thefts, social media issues and cyber bullying.

“You really have to watch for relationships between students,” he said. “If there is a breakup, you have to closely monitor the situation.”

Ready believes one of his strengths is that he uses his tactical experience at the school.

“I know the entire physical layout of the school. I think that’s important with a school this big.”

Assistant Principal Tim Rooney said Ready is a “great resource” to the school, and cited three reasons why he is so popular with students, adults and staff.

“First, he is able to relate with kids and adults,” Rooney said. “Second, he is very good at articulating with kids and giving them good advice. And third, he knows the law inside and out.”

Rooney also said Ready has the unique ability to defuse a lot of situations before they can escalate.

“He is smooth and calm under pressure. I don’t think there is anyone at the school who doesn’t have confidence in him.”

In fact, that confidence was rewarded when Ready was named the school’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

“It’s well-deserved,” Rooney said. “The things he does for the kids is tremendous. He keeps things under control.”

Ready, who has been a member of the department’s basketball team since 2009, resides in Palm Bay, along with his wife, Angel, and their two small children — Jayden, 2½, and newborn, Jalen.

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