The school resource officer (SRO) who quickly ended a shooting at Maryland’s Great Mills High School last month will receive the National Award of Valor from the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). The organization announced today that it will present the award to Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office during NASRO’s annual School Safety Conference in Reno, Nevada, June 24–29.
NASRO President Don Bridges of the Baltimore County Police Department and NASRO executive director Mo Canady announced the award today, during the 2018 Maryland Center for School Safety Summit in Annapolis.
“Without hesitation or regard for his own safety, Deputy Gaskill reacted immediately upon hearing a gunshot,” Canady said. “By responding directly to and confronting the threat, he eliminated the potential for far greater loss of life. Deputy Gaskill’s actions exemplified NASRO best practices and our organization will be proud to recognize him at our annual conference.”
According to information published by the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, a 17-year-old male student fired one shot in a school hallway early in the morning of March 20. That shot struck two other students, one of whom eventually died of her injuries. The gunman then moved down a connecting hallway, where Gaskill confronted him. Gaskill fired one shot, striking the gunman’s hand as the gunman simultaneously fatally shot himself.
Gaskill is a nine-year veteran of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office who is in his first year as an SRO. He is also a member of his agency’s emergency services (special weapons and tactics) team.
NASRO bestows its National Award of Valor for a single act of courage and valor through which an SRO or school staff member risked his or her own life to protect others. It is one of several awards NASRO presents at its annual conference.
Last year, more than 900 people attended the annual NASRO school safety conference. It offers attendees an opportunity to complete on-site NASRO training courses at no additional charge; receive in-service training; visit an exhibit hall with the latest in products, technologies and innovations; and interact with SROs, school administrators, sheriffs and chiefs of police from throughout the country and world. Available training includes NASRO’s Basic SRO Course, ideal for law enforcement officers who are newly assigned to work in schools.
More information about the conference, including a complete agenda and online registration, is available at www.nasro.org/conference/.
For more information about NASRO, visit www.nasro.org.