Officer John Harpster SRO of the Year!


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Phoenix Police School Resource Officer John Harpster is one of two “2013 Arizona SROs of the Year” recognized by the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers.  He was nominated by Central High School Principal Chris Jones and received the award in June at the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers annual conference. Harpster and an SRO from Dysart High School were recipients of the award. The Phoenix Police Department was also recognized as the AASRO Department of the Year.  Harpster has been an SRO for eight years, working at Central and at Metro Tech High Schools.

The School Resource Officer program is an important part of the Phoenix Union High School District.  On 11 comprehensive campuses, and Bostrom, there are uniformed City of Phoenix police officers who work collaboratively with the administration, dean of students, security staff, and students to insure a safe, learning environment.  Greater attention has been given to SROs in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the State Legislature recently appropriated more funding for SROs.  State funding had been cut during the Great Recession and grants to pay for SROs became highly competitive.  PUHSD only received enough for seven SROs, but due to their commitment to safe and secure campuses, they paid for five more.  

The “SRO of the Year” award is given to officers who exhibit the qualities and goals of the School Resource Officer position. Through the “triad” approach to school policing (teaching, counseling, policing), the SRO attempts to bridge the gap that exists between police and the youth of today, teach law-related education to deepen their understanding of civic responsibility, and to develop their respect for the justice system.

Congratulations to Officer John Harpster on this special recognition! Your dedication to our community is a reflection of the high standards of the men and women who comprise the Phoenix Police Department.

SRO of the Year Award

In attendance at the PUHSD Governing Board meeting on September 5, 2013 as Officer John Harpster received his award were Phoenix Assistant Chief Chuck Miiller, Lieutenant Chris Tucker, and Sergeant Lynn Butcher. (pictured above)