Resource officer always wanted the ‘laser background’ and finally got it 34 years later

Oct 5, 2018

It was the neighbors’ kids next door, we remember, who got it for their grade school photos, and (of course) we didn’t. We’re talking about the early 90s when, you must recall, the lucky kids got the neon, pink-and-blue, laser background for their school photos.

Maybe they had a different photographer, went to a special school, or maybe their parents ticked a certain box on the form that our own parents didn’t, but in any case, we were the ones who felt left out.

It was the same situation for Brian Kelly, of Pelham, New Hampshire, when he was a kid. But all that was to change (albeit a few decades late) when Brian became a police officer.

“I never got to get lasers,” Kelly admitted. “I think my parents just didn’t want me to have it.”

Fast-forward 34 years, and now Kelly is a corporal for the New Hampshire Police Department. And where else would Kelly be than back at school: stationed as the resource officer at Pelham High School, where he’s been working since 2011.

That’s when Kelly decided that, this time, he wasn’t about to miss his chance.

“I’m the resource officer and get an ID every year, and this year I walked in and said to the photographers, ‘I want lasers,’” he said. “This one photographer, of the five or six who were there, said, ‘I’ll give you lasers.’”

Kelly wasn’t sure it was going to go through at first, but when the ID tag finally came to his desk, he saw his lifelong wish come true.

“It only took 34 years but I finally got lasers in my school picture,” Kelly later shared on Twitter Wednesday.

Not surprisingly, this is not the first time the laser background has made a comeback. Out of a feeling of nostalgia, perhaps, or because retro is in vogue now more than ever, with everyone from online memes to NFL football teams sporting the shooting laser beams as a background.

Owner of Hockmeyer photography studios in Amesbury, Elizabeth Hockmeyer-Williams said that out of the 150,000 New England students she shoots each year, a small percentage still opt for the lasers.

“We literally just had someone that called in this morning—a school secretary—who wants her school picture switched to the laser background,” Hockmeyer-Williams said.

Meanwhile, some who saw Kelly’s recent tweet were green with jealousy, “Our parents would never allow the #LASER background,” wrote a probation worker in response to the tweet. “We are in envy and in awe.”


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