LRE Officer of the Year


LRE Officer of the Year

The Law-Related Education Officer of the Year Award recognizes exceptional contributions of Arizona police and probation officers in furthering education and understanding of the role of the law in our democratic society. This award focuses on public awareness on the contributions that the officer provides to the community and Arizona schools.

Nominations are due March 1st and are to include:
Nominee's name;
Nominee's School;
Nominee's address & other contact information;
Award for which they are being nominated
Nominator's contact information;
Summary of their characteristics, experiences, and service that qualifies them for the award;
and support letters from others may be included.

2024 Awardee


Officer Shane Connell

Officer Shane Connell is currently serving at Empower College Prep in Phoenix, AZ. Officer Connell has been active in the School Safety Program for 3 years.  He is a valuable part of the Empower College Prep community where he has built strong relationships with students and worked closely with administration to support both families and students. Officer Connell does wonderful work with the students. He is present during drop off, lunch and recess to interact with the students. During lunch and recess he gives the younger students high fives and stickers to those that can recite the core values of the school. Students run up to him to tell him what they have learned.  In grades 6-8, students enjoy the “Wake-Up” club started by Officer Connell. It’s an environment where he has created trust and safety. Students have the opportunity to eat lunch with him once a week and learn about various topics. 

Ofc. Connell teaches LRE lessons in K-2 and 6-8 on a variety of meaningful topics. Some examples include vaping, truancy, status offenses, social media, respect, stealing, rules, conflict resolution, teasing vs. bullying. His lessons are interactive to allow for student voice and skill development. In the first around 6 months of school, he had already implemented 143 LRE hours and continued teaching LRE in the classroom. Last year he completed 234 LRE Hours. Additionally, Officer Connell makes himself available to teachers and staff to answer questions or concerns and ensure the safety of his campus.

2023 Awardee


2023 Awardee


Officer George Pizarro

Desert Middle School

Laveen, Arizona

Officer Pizarro has been active in the School Safety Program for 16 years. Always making himself available to his school site by teaching law related education in the classroom, answering questions regarding laws, criminal activity, trends, and safety concerns. He builds positive relationships with students by joining them in outdoor activities during school breaks, helping in classrooms with projects, and providing relevant law related education in the classroom. He makes learning fun with interactive activities that not only teach students but also equip them with skills necessary to demonstrate civic actions. Parents and staff have benefited from the presence of Officer Pizarro because they are also able to ask questions about school safety and criminal activity with his open-door policy. Officer Pizarro is a valuable resource to his school community for not only providing his expertise and skills in keeping his school safe but also for his friendly, professional manner that is building positive relationships between him and his school community.

Officer Robert Zavala

Naco, Arizona

Officer Zavala is a new school resource officer in his second year of serving and has already made a wonderful impact on his school community! His nomination letters were all written by the students he implements his law related education (LRE) instruction to. The students made several comments about his friendly manner and interesting lessons, and the things they have learned about the importance of following laws and rules to be safe. Communicating with parents is an important skill students should have to be safe. Officer Zavala implemented LRE instruction on this topic and students also commented on how it helped them. Officer Zavala has also made an impact with parents and staff. He makes himself available to answer any concerns they have about school safety. He is there to greet everyone as they arrive on campus and say goodbye at the end of the day. His school community knows he is helping to keep everyone safe. They know they can approach him for questions or a friendly conversation. Officer Zavala is a wonderful resource for his school community!

2022 Awardee


Officer Donn Cederdahl

Officer Cederdahl has had a substantial impact on Wilson Elementary School, where he is deeply involved in many areas of the school. His admirable attitude and belief in each and every student creates a safe environment that encourages learning and development. 

Officer Cederdahl was responsible for improving the LRE education at Wilson Elementary and is helping bridging the gap between law enforcement and members of underserved communities. Officer Cederdahl goes out of his way to ensure that every student has the necessary support to succeed and is usually spotted surrounded by kids who look up to and adore him.  

Officer Cederdahl’s commitment to ensuring each student is seen, listened to and supported has been invaluable to the school and his work creates a better environment for everyone involved. 

2022 Awardee


Officer Alison Davis Vallet

Officer Alison Davis Vallet is an important member of Kino JHS where she provides safety, emotional support, guidance and many more services through her work as the school’s SRO.  

Officer Davis’ hands-on approach has made her an integral part of the school environment and she is always available for students who need someone to talk to. Thanks to Officer Davis, kids at Kino JHS have someone they can trust, talk to about difficult topics, and seek out when they need guidance.  

Officer Davis serves as a tremendously positive influence for the students and staff at Kino JHS and continues to strive to improve the lives of all students.  

2022 Awardee


Officer Keven Rush

Officer Keven Rush is deeply involved in his school and community as an SRO. His background involves several years of teaching, providing him with a unique set of skills that make him an outstanding SRO.  

Officer Rush involvement goes far beyond the basic responsibilities of an SRO. He is heavily involved with recreational activities and events arranged by the school, and he usually shows up to these events himself, either on the job or voluntarily. He works closely with students and parents to ensure that every student is in a safe and positive environment, and has previously taken immediate action when students have been in need of help.  

The students at Payson High School speak very highly of Officer Rush, a credit to his people skills and sincerity, which has had a great influence on countless students. 

2022 Awardee


Officer Brad Walston

Officer Brad Walston is a universally loved and respected SRO officer on the North Canyon High School campus. He is deeply involved with the students at North Canyon, where he not only acts as a police officer but also a mentor, role model, athletic coach, organizer and much more.  

Officer Walston’s honesty, openness and integrity has made him widely popular with the students. He has had remarkable success as a basketball coach and also organized flag football events for girls across the district.  

Thanks to Officer Walston, the students at North Canyon High can go to school knowing they have someone to look up to, confide with and learn from, and that they are in a safe and inclusive environment.  

“He seeks to bring opportunities to our students that are greater than just the classroom walls and it has been one of the best culture changes this school has seen in a long time.” - Faculty member 

2021 Awardee


Officer Joseph Lahey

Officer Joe Lahey is a professional caring officer dedicated to his students.  During the school closures, when many students didn’t have the on campus support they were used to receiving, Ofc. Lahey would facilitate weekly home visits to check on the well-being of students. 

Officer Lahey understands the importance of building a positive relationship with students.  He participates in numerous classes to help be visible and accessible to students while educating them on law related education.  He takes this one step further by continuing those conversations around campus with individuals to further their understanding and appreciation of the law. 

When Ofc. Lahey learns that of roadblocks keeping students from attending school, he works to remove those obstacles and ensure that every student’s educational needs are met.

2020 Awardee

Officer Duane Enos

Officer Duane Enos is amazing at creating relationships with students, teachers and all staff on campus.  He has built camaraderie with the health staff and is a regular guest teacher, educating the freshman class on drugs, its effects on the body and society as well as educating the students about social media and cyber issues. 

Ofc. Enos is quite motivated about getting into different classrooms to share law related education with students and teachers. He goes above just teaching and relationship building by researching and reviewing the data from the discipline team, of which he is also a part, so he can focus on the classes he sees need more education on law related topics.

Duane Enos is an effective law related education officer and committed to assisting the school and his students.

2019 Awardee

Officer Tomas Salviejo
Woodard Junior High 

Ofc. Salviejo has been instrumental in implementing programs and safety throughout Woodard Junior High and the surrounding community. Officer Salviejo implemented an Emergency Response Plan Layout/Design that has been adopted in all District One Schools.  He also started a canned food drive for the Yuma Community Food Bank

In addition to these programs he has been vital in helping to form a link between families and law enforcement. He teaches students how to avoid being victims of crimes and educates staff and students on the legal system.

Officer Salviejo goes above and beyond for our school. He takes the time to form connections with students and is respected by those he works with. 

2018 Awardee

Officer Melissa Larkin

Marana Middle School

Ofc. Larkin is dedicated to keeping Marana Middle School safe as well as to instructing law-related education. She is passionate about teaching students about the law and how to be a ‘good citizen’, and her efforts are appreciated by both staff and students. She is always willing to help, whether through counseling students or participating in school events. Officer Larkin has the ability to create unique relationships with students, as demonstrated in students’ excitement when speaking with her. Her devotion to her school as well as law-related education has had a huge impact.

2017 Awardee

Officer Jason Groen 
Phoenix Police Department, Bethune Elementary

Officer Groen has been with Bethune Elementary for the last 4 years, and has consistently gone above and beyond.  In addition to completing the mandatory LRE cohort hours, Officer Groen gets involved with the community with school events, anti-bullying patrol squads, Wake-Up Club, and bicycle events to provide students the opportunity to participate in fun structured activities outside of school hours. 

Through these activities he has made a positive impact in the lives of the students of Bethune.

"I am happy you are at our school.  You taught me lots of things.  You are good at teaching." - Elementary student.

2016 Awardee

Officer Fernando Gomez 
Chandler Police Department, Aprende Middle School, San Tan Junior High School

Officer Gomez has spent the last six years as a School Resource Officer going above and beyond. He has taught over 271 hours (only 180 are required) creating a positive impact among the students, teachers, parents and staff.  He has been one of the leaders in organizing the Chandler Police Department Wilderness Trip Experience for junior high kids.  This week long program teaches kids to understand nature,constructive interaction and good character.

Gomez has developed or been involved in several other programs to get students engaged including 3 on 3 basketball tournament, Chandler Police Youth Academy, and Cyber Safety classes.  He is a great asset to his department, school and community.

Officer Stephen Dieu

Summit Jr. High School

2015 Elementary Awardee

Officer Carla Anderson:  Arrowhead Elementary School & Indian Bend Elementary School


2015 Middle School Awardee

Officer Rex Peterson:  Sonoran Trails Middle School


2015 High School Awardee

Officer David Woodard:  Basha High School

2014 Award

Det. Larry Baggs
Connolly Middle School

2013 Award

Officer Brandon McCombs
Sierra Linda High School

2012 Award

Isaac Easley
Tolleson Union High School.

2011 Award

Officer Brandon Clark
Show Low High School

2010 Award

Augustine Sauceda
Cactus Middle School
Casa Grande, AZ

2009 Award

Melissa McCormick
Rincon High School 
Phoenix, AZ

2008 Award

Gary Douglas

2007 Award

Alan Ienn

2006 Award

Jeanette Brambila
enforcement of laws in the United States.

2005 Award

Andrew Wood

2004 Award

David Franquero


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