Detective Zierse: From Helping Grizzlies to Saving Cubs


Detective Zierse will be leaving Copper Hills after working here since 2015. He spent four years as the school’s resource officer, but Detective Zierse has been assigned to work for ICAC, or Internet Crimes Against Children. 


Zierse is excited to work in this new capacity and said he believes in this cause. “The worst people on earth are the ones who offend children. And so I’ve dealt with a lot of kids at Copper Hills, it’s one of the reasons I work here is because I get to engage with and protect children,” Zierse said, “But now I’m going younger than you guys and I get to protect children from the people who do the most vile things.“ 


In a study conducted by the University of Utah, 50% of boys and 31% of girls have received a sext photo under the age of 18. Zierse will be working to combat these odds and make Utah a safer place.


While Officer Zierse is excited to start his new job, he did say he would miss the culture that exists at Copper Hills. “I’ve always been impressed with Copper Hill’s school spirit, the amount of kids that go to games, participate in activities, collect money. I’ve always been impressed with how many people show up and how much school spirit there is,” said Zierse, “Everyone here is proud to be a Copper Hills Grizzly.”


As the school resource officer, Zierse taught Law Enforcement and, this year, he started teaching Criminal Justice 1010. “I’ve loved both classes. Most perception of law enforcement from the outside world is that we’re a bunch of angry men who just want to write people tickets and take people to jail,” explained Zierse, “I get to give them a different perspective and because I get to tell my stories from my side.” He was able to help students have a more accurate perception of what’s occurring on the news. He’s been able to help students understand both sides of the story. 


Officer Zierse has five kids with ages ranging from 5 to 17.  Zierse said, “They get to hear my perspective on how I think that the world really is. [They hear] how bad I think drug use really is, honestly how bad any addiction is.” Unfortunately, as a school resource officer, Zierse gets to see first-hand how the wrong decisions students make will affect them. “I can see certain actions will have certain consequences…That’s the sad part of where I’m at.”


On a better note, Zierse also knows that students have the power to turn their lives around, and there is hope that they will be able to.  “There’s been a ton of kids that I’ve seen go from on the edge, starting to use drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd,” Zierse said, “My interaction with them and a couple of other things have changed them to where they ended up doing very well in high school and graduating without issues.” Thankfully, Zierse  helps students choose paths that will lead them to success. He’s been instrumental in so many students’ lives. 


“I’ve gotten to see people change from one road that would lead them to prison to completely different one to have a successful life,” Zierse said, “That’s really been my main purpose here.”