(STL.News) – Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers today recognized outstanding School Resource Officers from across Florida and named Deputy Jerry Hooks of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office the 2020 School Resource Officer of the Year. Deputy Hooks received the award at the annual FASRO Conference in Orlando for his positive influence on the students at Choctawhatchee High School where he works to protect Florida’s most precious resource, our children.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am thrilled to congratulate Deputy Jerry Hooks on receiving the School Resource Officer of the Year Award for his tremendous work at Choctawhatchee High School. Deputy Hooks goes above and beyond the call of duty as an SRO through his commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of students, as well as the development of projects and programs within the school. I am proud to recognize Deputy Hooks for this well-deserved award.”
Serving at Choctawhatchee High School, Deputy Hooks assists the principal in developing operational plans and strategies to prevent dangerous situations in the school and instructing monthly tactical trainings for the district. Deputy Hooks also provides presentations to students and staff outlining what to do if a crisis should occur at school, during sporting events and other extracurricular activities involving large crowds. Deputy Hooks is also the designated liaison for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Gang Task Force and works hand-in-hand with the State of Florida Juvenile Probation Office in detecting known gang members within Okaloosa County schools.
Deputy Hooks is involved in many school projects such as starting a clothing closet for students in need, creating a student food pantry and remodeling the CHS Spirit Hallway. Deputy Hooks also assists the CHS Drivers Education class in creating Spanish-speaking Department of Motor Vehicles pamphlets to improve the relations between students and staff.
Attorney General Moody also recognized six deputy sheriffs and police officers from around the state who earned the designation as School Resource Officer Practitioners after completing a rigorous training program offered by the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Programs:
- Deputy James Adler, Hardee County Sheriff’s Office;
- Officer Lauren Bennett, Largo Police Department;
- Officer Rebecca Hanna, Tampa Police Department;
- Deputy Joseph Marble, Hardee County Sheriff’s Office;
- Officer Jason Schroeder, Palmetto Police Department; and
- Officer Scott Simcox, Largo Police Department.
In 1985, the Florida 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, FASRO, the Florida Department of Education and FDLE have jointly provided several 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.