HOPKINTON — Chief Joseph Bennett announces that longtime Hopkinton School Resource Officer Phil Powers retired Tuesday, Jan. 25 after over 34 years with the Hopkinton Police Department.
Officer Powers served in the Air Force before beginning his career as a police officer with the Upton Police Department. He transferred to Hopkinton in 1987 and became an SRO in 2004.
During his time as SRO, Officer Powers was a tremendous asset to the school community and had a positive impact on its students. Officer Powers was known by students as “Officer Phil,” or “OP,” which was also engraved on his patrol car.
“OP has always been a friendly face in the morning, saying hello and waving to everyone he sees,” Hopkinton High School senior Sreya Ravi said. “He truly made the school a brighter place and contributed so much to the overall atmosphere of trust and positivity at HHS. His presence will be so missed. He always had a funny joke to make or was willing to listen, and I’m grateful and so lucky he was working here during my four years at HHS.”
Officer Powers exuded understanding, compassion and patience in his role as SRO. In 2006, a person went onto the roof of the high school with apparent plans to jump, and Officer Powers was able to communicate with the individual and get them down without incident.
Throughout his career, Officer Powers showed great dedication to Hopkinton’s students and the community as a whole. He assisted in fundraising efforts, including fundraising that supported a seventh-grade student battling a brain tumor, as well as the Pink Patch Project which raises awareness and funds to support breast cancer patients and research organizations.
He also spearheaded the annual Fishing Derby and the annual Special Olympics basketball game during which Hopkinton Police officers play against Special Olympics athletes.
“It’s been truly a pleasure to work alongside Officer Powers, or ‘OP,’ as the students affectionately refer to him as,” Hopkinton High School Principal Evan Bishop said. “He is beloved by all at HHS. It’s difficult to capture just how much of a positive impact he has had on so many during his time as SRO. He is thoughtful, approachable, kind, and a great listener. He truly cares about the students of Hopkinton and will be sorely missed.”
Officer Powers was trained as a radKIDS instructor and ran the department’s radKIDS program which educates children on avoiding and responding to predatory violence. He was also a trained D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructor.
He was recognized by the Massachusetts Juvenile Police Officer’s Association with an SRO Exceptional Service Award in 2016.
“It has truly been an honor to have worked alongside Officer Powers,” Chief Bennett said. “His compassion, empathy and caring nature was felt throughout the schools, community and among the members of the department, not to mention his sense of humor. He served as a role model and mentor throughout my entire career and I wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.”
Other roles Officer Powers held within the department included assignments with the boat patrol and bike patrol, sexual assault investigator, Breath Test Operator and liaison to the Hopkinton Youth Commission. He was an active member of the Hopkinton Police Association and served as president until his retirement.
A short video message from Hopkinton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol Cavanaugh can also be viewed here.