A New Sheriff in Town

Officer Boerner replaces Officer Vang as the new SRO


Sahar Karim, Writer

Oshkosh North High School has its third School Resource Officer (SRO) in the past five years. Officer Ryan Boerner has been working with Oshkosh Police department for the past 20 years as a patrol officer.

When the position opened, he became excited at the opportunity to work with teens.

“I would say over the last 20 years, I have seen the younger generations struggling and going through a lot of mental health and family issues. I decided to work for them because my job as a police officer is to help people and make a difference in their lives.”

Luckily, Boerner has experience interacting with teens. He and his wife have two teenage children.

“Both of my kids are teenagers. Seeing their struggles, I have some familiarity with the problems teenagers face which is one of the reasons that I feel I can help when something bad happens.”

He believes that one of his greatest responsibilities is to introduce the youth to law enforcement. He knows that the police have often been negatively represented in the media, and he wants to build a more positive image.

“I want to make the teenagers feel that we are not dangerous people. I am here to help [people] with anything.” 

He refers to his job as an “informal counselor” who helps people at any time work through their bad circumstances. 

Since 2002 when he began his career, he has experienced many things on the job, from building positive relationships as a member of the bike patrol to dangerous situations. 

“One of the scariest things that I experienced was entering a burning building and searching for a victim that may have been hurt by the suspect who was also thought to be still inside.”

In addition to his scariest experience, Boerner also received acclaim for saving a family of four from a burning home. One of the residents even graduated from Oshkosh North. 

When not entering burning buildings, Boerner likes to spend his free time with his family and mentor through coaching. 

“I like to go hiking and travel on weekends with my family. I have also been a youth and middle school wrestling coach for eight years,” he says. 

He enjoys mentoring people and working as a leader to help people improve and succeed in something they are passionate about. 

He is also friends with Detective Chee Vang, the SRO who returned to detective work after three years at North. 

“I gained more knowledge about the SRO position working with Detective Vang at North for several weeks during the 2021/2022 school year.” 

Boerner loves sports and—unlike Vang—he is a big Packers fan.

Boerner most looks forward to building relationships with students, a crucial part of his job. 

“I am trying to be as available as possible even though this is a really busy job.” 

He is looking forward to getting to know everybody and has an open door policy trying to remain available as much as possible.

Besides patrol, Boerner was also a Field Training Officer, department instructor, a member of the Epcot (school safety) committee since 2013, and a member of the SWAT team for 16 years. 

He wants to continue his job at Oshkosh North for years to come.