May 29, 2024

Columbia School Resource Officer receives national award for exceptional service

Darkhorse Press

Officer Brenda Young

HOOVER, Ala. — The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) announced that it will present its Exceptional Service Award to Officer Brenda Young of the Columbia Police Department, Mississippi. The organization presents the award to one recipient in each of NASRO’s 10 regions who demonstrates continuous and sustained service to the school community above and beyond that normally expected of a school resource officer (SRO).

NASRO will present this award and those listed below Monday, July 15 during a ceremony in Phoenix as part of its annual National School Safety Conference.

The Floyd Ledbetter National School Resource Officer of the Year Award will go to Officer Armando Dominguez of the Summit (Illinois) Police Department. The award recognizes school resource officers (SROs) who have made specific and significant contributions to their local communities or school districts. SROs are carefully selected, specifically trained law enforcement officers assigned to work in schools.

NASRO’s National Award of Valor for acts of courage and valor above and beyond what would normally be expected, will go to Kerri Reeves, a physical education teacher at Smiths Station High School, Smiths Station, Alabama. Reeves placed herself between a student who was armed with a gun and another student he had threatened to kill. She successfully deescalated the situation and ordered the armed student to leave.

Presidential Citation for special recognition from the NASRO president will go to Officer Brad Tippin of the Baltimore County Police Department, Towson, Maryland. Tippin intervened in an active stabbing incident in the high school where he serves as SRO, preventing mortal injury.

The Chief Nicholas C. Derzis Safe Schools Leadership Award for contributions and dedication to an SRO program will go to Superintendent Michael Vuckovich of the Windber Area School District, Windber Pennsylvania.

The Bridge the Gap Award for activities that demonstrate a significant commitment to positive behavioral intervention services and at-risk youth will go to Officer Brian Falotico of the Waukegan Police Department, Waukegan, Illinois.

Additional Exceptional Service Awards will go to:

  • Officer Brian Evatt, Fernandina Beach Police Department, Florida
  • Deputy Khalid Mitchell, Harford County Sheriff’s Department, Bel Air, Maryland
  • Officer Eric Fisher, East Cocalico Township Police Department, Pennsylvania
  • Officer Damian Blocker, Waterbury Police Department, Connecticut
  • Officer Kimberly Kiritschenko, Danville Community School Corporation Police Department, Danville, Indiana
  • Officer John Kramer, Gilbert Police Department, Arizona
  • Deputy Elizabeth Volten, Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
  • Officer Luis Ortiz, Fremont Police Department, California
  • Officer Bri Tucker, Salida Police Department, Colorado

The Model SRO Agency Award for exemplifying in training, policies and standards, the NASRO triad concept — which describes an SRO’s role as mentor, guest lecturer and law enforcement officer — and for demonstrating creative and innovative approaches to school-based policing, will go to:

  • St. George Police Department, St. George, Utah
  • Decatur Township Metropolitan School District Police Department, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Southlake Police Department, Southlake, Texas
  • North Fayette Township Police Department, Oakdale, Pennsylvania
  • Orem Police Department, Orem, Utah
  • Central Falls Police Department, Central Falls, Rhode Island

The SRO Social Award, for effectively utilizing social media to promote the SRO position, school, and agency, will go to Deputy Danielle Martinez of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Redwood City, California.

The Safety and Support Companion Award, for an SRO and the officer’s animal companion who, through their roles as public safety educator, mentor/informal counselor, and law enforcement officer, make a significant positive and impactful contribution to schools will go to Officer Gretchen Morgan of the Paducah Police Department, Paducah Kentucky and her dog, Rizzoli.

The National Road Safety Foundation Innovation in the Classroom Award, for demonstrating the use of innovative methods in teaching traffic safety to teens will go to Deputy Chad Dodson of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The NASRO Instructor of the Year Award, for instructors who demonstrate excellence in teaching NASRO courses while continuously performing above and beyond the call of duty will go Janet Nease, Ed.D., Kansas City, Missouri.

About the NASRO National School Safety Conference

NASRO’s 34rd annual National School Safety Conference takes place July 14 through July 19 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix. The conference provides opportunities for attendees to learn best practices for SRO and other school safety programs. It also provides networking opportunities to SROs and other law enforcement officers, as well as school security and safety officials, school board members, administrators and anyone interested in school safety. Complimentary credentials are available to working journalists who wish to cover the conference. Please contact Jay Farlow, using the information below, to reserve press credentials.

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