As a high school senior, Koppa talked of wanting to become a cop, a goal delayed as he worked in private security and dropout prevention after graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1993. Those jobs bolstered the interpersonal skills he uses with the Highland Park Department of Public Safety, which he joined nearly 18 years ago. He is serving as community relations/public information officer.
What do you like most about serving in Highland Park?
Because it is a small community, you really have that sense of satisfaction that you have an impact. You get to see and get to know the same individuals. That helps on the paramedic side. The other part is the dedication of the individuals in this community to really helping us do our jobs. You really feel like you are valued.
What’s your favorite place to visit in the Park Cities?
I love visiting our elementary schools. We have Armstrong and Bradfield. You can kind of see everybody, the parents, neighbors, the families, the volunteers, everyone that comes in. Also, the office staff is really good about sharing sweets and eats that have been left in the front offices.
What do you think makes Highland Park special?
There is a genuine effort to keep Highland Park with a small-town feel. You see that reflected in the Fourth of July parade, you see that with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and you see it with the school parade for our state championship football and tennis teams. On the neighborhood side, it doesn’t take long to get to know your neighbors.