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Sioux Falls SRO wins School Resource Officer of the Year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) -- It's a school's resource officer's job to ensure the safety of the staff and students, and when they hear the call of danger, they run straight toward it.

Officer Jim Larson spends his days at Patrick Henry Middle School. A job where he's constantly looking out for others, but he never expected all those eyes to look back on him.

Friends, family, staff and fellow officers packed into the Patrick Henry Library to surprise Officer Larson with the 2019 South Dakota School Resource Officer of the Year Award.

"He is one of the most compassionate people I think I know, especially when it comes to working with kids," Close friend and president of the South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers Todd Runyan said.

Close friend, fellow officer and president of the association, Todd Runyan was the one who got to hand him the plaque.

"We've been friends for a long time, so I've seen a side of him others may not have, so I know that he's a good person through and through," Runyan said

Officer Larson has a strong reputation around the school, despite only being there for four short years.

"He's a good guy and he helps out with the school a lot by doing a bunch of things for us, and he deserves this award, I think," Student Alex Mentzer said.

"He's a really good guy. He puts everyone's safety before his. He always goes around to classrooms and checks up on what we're doing and stuff," Student Terel Williams said.

Officers run into a lot over the years, but Larsen hasn't seen anything quite like this.

"It's... humbling, to say the least... again to think that they hold me in that regard and are willing to take that extra step and let people know about it means a lot to me," School Resource Officer of the Year Jim Larson said

An inspiration to both his fellow staff and students. It's a badge he'll always wear proudly.

"The code I live by is simple: be honest and, also, I try to project what - who I am... what I would like to see these kids learn from; whether that's integrity, honesty... truthfulness: The ability just to do right," Larson said

Peers and fellow students nominated Officer Larson for this achievement. He's been at Patrick Henry for four years and has spent over two decades as a part of the force.


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