The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) has announced recipients of its annual awards, recognizing excellence in school-based policing. The association will present the awards at its annual conference, July 13-18, in La Quinta, Calif. (near Palm Springs).
National Award of Valor: Deputy James Englert, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, Centennial, Colo. This award recognizes a single act of courage and valor, above and beyond that expected of the normal actions of a school resource officer (SRO) or a school staff member. On Dec. 13, 2013, Englert performed decisively and heroically in the face of danger when he pursued an individual with a deadly weapon. His actions have been credited with saving the lives of students and staff members at Arapahoe High School.
Floyd Ledbetter National School Resource Officer of the Year Award: Deputy Jesus Arana, Los Angeles School Police Department, Los Angeles, Calif. This award recognizes an SRO who has made a specific and significant contribution to the officer’s local town, city, county and/or school district. Judges were impressed by Arana’s consistent hard work and dedication to the safety and welfare of the children of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Regional Exceptional Service Award: NASRO presents this award for continuous and sustained service to the school community above and beyond that expected of an SRO or school staff member. Recipients for 2014:
• Officer Todd Pearson, West Fargo Police Department, West Fargo, N.D. Pearson is honored for his contribution and dedication to the school resource officer program and the many children, parents, and faculty members of his community and school.
• Security Officer Rod Mauler, Arapahoe High School, Centennial, Colo. – Mauler and three additional recipients listed below (Meredith, Bratsch and Mason) are all recognized for their actions during the Arapahoe High School shooting, Dec. 13, 2013.
• Assistant Principal Darrell Meredith, Arapahoe High School, Centennial, Colo.
• Deputy Robert Bratsch, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, Centennial, Colo.
• Deputy James Mason, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, Centennial, Colo.
• Officer William "Buzz" Yakshe, Murrysville Police Department, Murrysville, Pa. Yakshe is recognized for his courageous response to a violent incident April 9, 2014 at Franklin Regional High School.
Safe School Leadership Award: Sergeant Troy McCoy, Elbert County Sheriff's Office, Elbert, Colo. This award honors individuals who exemplify leadership, innovation, dedication and proactive measures to enhance the safety of the school community.
Model Agency Award: This award recognizes agencies that exemplify the NASRO triad concept (law enforcement, teaching and informal counseling) in their training, policies and standards. Recipients for 2014:
• Collier County Sheriff's Office, Naples, Fla.
• Collier Township Police Department, Presto, Pa.
• Scott Township Police Department, Scott Township, Pa.
• Fishers Police Department, Fishers, Ind.
• Madison County Sheriff's Office, Huntsville, Ala.
• Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
• Keystone Oakes School District Police, Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Los Angeles School Police Department, Los Angeles, Calif.
Innovation in the Classroom Award: Terry Tilley, Midwest City Police Department, Midwest City, Okla. This award recognizes creative, innovated programs that educate young people about traffic safety. This award is being presented to Officer Tilley by the National Road Safety Foundation.
Joe Harris Memorial Instructor of the Year Award: Retired law enforcement officer Pat Fitzgerald, who serves as an instructor of NASRO courses. Fitzgerald is recognized for exceptional service to students in NASRO school policing courses and for serving as an exemplary ambassador for NASRO.
NASRO is a nonprofit organization for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators and school security/safety professionals working as partners to protect students, school faculty and staff, and the schools they attend. NASRO is located in Hoover, Ala., and it was established in 1991. For more information, visit www.nasro.org.