Deputy Zach SohotraDeputy Sohotra is the School Resource Deputy at Hudson Junior/Senior High School. He is a graduate of Hudson High School who is back on campus to help promote a safe learning environment for all students.

Here are a few things to help you get to know Deputy Sohotra:

What is your role here at the Hudson City School District, and where do you work?
As a school resource deputy, my role is to provide the foundation of a cooperative effort between the Hudson City School District and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in order to increase safety and promote a positive learning environment for students. I am assigned to the junior/senior high school campus.

When did you start working in the district?
I began my full-time assignment in HCSD in February 2019.

What does your job entail?
My main priority is to create an atmosphere of safety and security on the school campus. The goal of the School Resource Deputy (SRD) program is to facilitate a more coordinated effort in addressing issues involving the school, parents, police and other community agencies.

I will work closely which each school’s administrators and faculty to solve problems and provide a positive image of law enforcement for students. I am also able to provide instructional programs that focus on general safety, drug, and alcohol education.

What do you like most about your job?
Although the school resource position is new to me, I have found several rewarding aspects of being assigned to work in HCSD. I enjoy working with the HCSD administrators as we share the same goals and want the best for each student. I enjoy attending classes and lunch sessions where I can build relationships with the students and create a more positive image of police officers.

What is your education background?
I just turned 25 years old and I’m a graduate of Hudson High School. I graduated in 2012 and many of the administrators and faculty who taught me are still here.

Upon finishing high school, I attended the University at Albany where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology. I was able to graduate a year early in order to attend the Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy where I was sponsored by the Town of Greenport Police Department.

What is your background like – previous jobs?
While attending college, I completed an internship with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and worked as a research assistant in a psychology/law lab at SUNY Albany’s School of Criminal Justice.

While attending the police academy, I worked as a mental health assistant on the psychiatry unit at Columbia Memorial Hospital. I was hired by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office upon completing the police academy and worked in the road patrol division until my assignment at HCSD.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of school.
Outside of work I, I enjoy being with my family and friends. I have a twin brother, sister and a niece and nephew who I love spending time with. I enjoy being physically active and try to spend as much time possible with my dog who I recently rescued and am working on training.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?
The best advice I have received comes from the values that my parents have taught me. Always remain true to yourself—find your strengths, weaknesses, passions, limitations, and purpose in life. Once you do, stick by them and live that way all of the time.

What is your motto or personal mantra?
Life is full of hardships and eventually everyone is going to struggle at some point. It is important to understand that struggles develop your strengths more often than not. Effort is the one thing that no one can take away from you. Maintain a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your absolute best effort in all that you do.

Photo: Lance Wheeler