The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Moving On

Mark Cohen retires from the police force after 28 years
Cooper Evans
Student resource officer Mark Coenen leans on his car April 29 in the Student Parking Lot. photo by Cooper Evans


Student Resource Officer Mark Cohen has been on the force for 28 years, and at Northwest for 19. This means traffic duty, confiscating vapes, searching backpacks, writing parking tickets and making arrests. He’s sat at the same desk since 2004, watching surveillance footage of students skipping math class. He’s stared at the same beige walls, ate the same ham sandwich for lunch and had the same badge number.

On the plus side, he was able to work with kids, serve the community and fulfill his childhood dream – which stemmed from watching cop shows like “CHiPs.” On the down side, he had to work with kids, deliver bad news and put his life on the line for complete strangers.

Thousands of interactions, hundreds of hours in overtime and dozens of 4th Amendment presentations have led Cohen up to his retirement this August when he’ll be only 50 years old. 

Meaning he has the next half of his life to do whatever he wants.

“It’s not gonna be as stressful,” Cohen said. “It seems like on the days that are busy everything happens at once.” 

He’s already rented a home on Anna Maria Island, just off the west coast of Florida, for a whole month this winter, and plans to make the long drive out with his dog, Sara, a rescue border collie lab mix. From there on out he’ll be relaxing by the beach, drinking Piña Coladas and doing his best not to burn.

No more school fights, no more radio chatter, no more drama.

“I think as a police officer, we can become negative,” Cohen said. “We’re seeing people at their worst, so you have to work really hard to stay positive. Sometimes you don’t wanna be around people. You enjoy being by yourself in your time off.”

Cohen said he’s likely to catch up on yard work and projects around the house. He’ll sleep in, and spend time with his daughter Elizabeth. He may even get a job bagging groceries at Hy-Vee. A lot is undecided.

“I like to think that I’ll kind of move on from this,” Cohen said. “But you never know.”

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Sofia Ball
Sofia Ball, Writer
Hi! My name is Sofia Ball and I am a writer for the Northwest Passage. Writing started out as a hobby for me. Something I never imagined I would be good at until about 7th grade after taking a creative writing class with Dr. Van Zant. I just started out as a freshman, and already, I've come to know and love many of the classes, teachers and students here at Northwest. I’d like to think of myself as an extrovert, but most of my freetime is spent either reading, writing or watching Netflix in my bedroom. I used to watch The Office all the time before it got removed. The only time you'll ever see me out and about is probably at Cross Country or Track practice. You may even see me handing out our latest newspaper issues around the school.

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