Okaloosa County SRO Program Sets National Standard

If you want to find one of the best School Resource Officer Units in the United States, look no further than the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The Unit has been chosen as a “Model Agency” by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO).  The award recognizes programs that exemplify the highest levels of providing security, education, counseling and mentoring to students.

“From Sgt. Gary Venuti being named the state’s top SRO in 2012, to our selection as Florida’s SRO Unit of the Year in 2014, to this newly announced national recognition – there is no doubt these deputies are outstanding in their commitment and service to our students and schools,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley. “Our partnership with the Okaloosa County School District, along with the passion and dedication of all involved, demonstrates to the rest of the country that our children are our top priority.”

“I want to take a moment to personally recognize the members of our own Okaloosa County Sheriff’s School Resource Officer group for having been recognized recently with the highly sought-after national accreditation for SRO programs,” said Superintendent of Schools, Mary Beth Jackson.  “As the Superintendent of Okaloosa Schools, I am daily impressed by the proven results gained by the capable and dedicated members of our SRO team.  The solid commitment to the SRO program is one of the finest examples of law enforcement officers and school administrators working as partners to protect those we both serve: students, faculty and staff, and the schools and communities in which we live and work.  Congratulations to Sheriff Ashley, Sgt. Venuti, and all of the individuals who serve OCSD in the capacity of SRO!”

In announcing the Okaloosa County SRO Unit’s selection, the head of the NASRO selection committee called the team “a shining example”.

Sheriff Larry Ashley informed the SRO’s of their achievement in a surprise announcement during an award’s ceremony:

Link to video here:

The award will be officially presented at the upcoming NASRO Conference in Orlando July 7th.
A link to the SRO Unit Video can be found at:

--Article and photo in part from http://www.sheriff-okaloosa.org/.