|July 15, 2013
Media Contact: Molly McFarland
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers today recognized Officer Kelly Thomas of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind Police Department as the 2013 School Resource Officer of the Year. The award was presented at the 34th annual conference of the Florida Association of School Resource Officers in Orlando. More than 450 law enforcement officers from around the state celebrated Officer Thomas’ positive influence on the students at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine. Officer Thomas has been the School Resource Officer at the school since 2010, and he has learned sign language in order to communicate with students.
“Officer Thomas plays a vital role in the lives of the children who attend the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “He has gone above and beyond to learn how to communicate and build relationships with the students, which is a testament to his commitment to their safety and well being.”
In 1985, the Attorney General’s Office developed the first 40-hour Basic Training Course adopted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to train school resource officers with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to implement crime prevention programming in a school setting. Together, the Attorney General’s Office, the Florida Association of School Resource Officers, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Department of Education have jointly provided a number of trainings throughout the years to develop effective prevention programs and strategies for students and campuses. Each year, applications for the School Resource Officer of the Year are submitted to the Attorney General’s Office for review.