Okaloosa County’s Destin Elementary SRO Earns National Award for Exceptional Service

July 25, 2017

Destin, FL – Two weeks after an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer was named Florida’s SRO of the Year, another OCSO SRO has earned a National Award for Exceptional Service.

Deputy Sonya Shepard, the SRO at Destin Elementary School, received the recognition today at the Annual Conference of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) in Washington D.C. Regional Exceptional Service Awards are presented to those individuals who’ve provided continuous and sustained service to the school community above and beyond that expected of a normal SRO or school staff member.

Deputy Shepard, a 13 year veteran of the OCSO, is in her fourth year as an SRO, and has created numerous outstanding programs including the Books to Badges Volunteer Service Program and Character Counts – Jr. Deputy Program. She also created a District Wide Anti-Bullying Curriculum for grades K-5.

She assists the RAKK (Random Acts of Kindness Kids) at Destin Elementary to help raise money for others in need, is a volunteer mentor at AMI Kids, and is on the board for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In addition, she’s a member of the OCSO Crisis Negotiations Unit, and a Crisis Intervention Team Instructor/Facilitator.

“Deputy Sonya, as she’s known throughout Destin, has one of the most impressive resumes you will find but it’s the way she uses her background to teach, influence, and motivate the students that sets her apart,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley. “Her spirit of compassion, her teaching skills, her vigilance, and her overall love of the job is truly inspirational and that’s why Deputy Sonya is known and respected not just at Destin Elementary, but throughout the entire community. This national award demonstrates she is an extraordinary role model for her students as well as other SROs throughout the country.”

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