For Immediate Release Wednesday, July 18, 2001
WASHINGTON, D.C. - School-based officers from six police departments that receive funding from the US Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) were honored today in Miami during the annual conference of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). More than 1000 School Resource Officers (SRO) recognized the accomplishments and bravery of six of their peers. SROs are sworn police who utilize community policing to make schools safer.
Among the honorees was officer Michael Webb of the Springfield Township Police Department in Ohio. Officer Webb received a NASRO award for bravery displayed during a shooting and hostage incident at the school he protects. During the incident, officer Webb ignored his personal safety by exchanging himself for the school's principal after a 14 year-old student discharged a firearm during class and subsequently held several of the school's staff members hostage. The gunmen had been arrested and counseled by officer Webb on previous occasions, and requested his presence during the standoff. Due to the relationship that Webb developed with this student, he was able to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.
Officer Webb and the five others that were honored during the event are employed by police departments that receive funding from the COPS In Schools program, which is administered by the federal COPS Office. Since the inception of the program in 1998, the COPS Office has provided $420 million to fund and train more than 3800 officers.
"We are proud of the accomplishments of these officers," said Ralph Justus, the Acting Director of COPS. "Their bravery and the positive impact that they've had on the lives of students is one of many indicators that our COPS In School program works to protect students and teachers in communities across the country".