Sheriff’s Deputy Kenny Upchurch has been selected as an award winning School Resource Officer (SRO).

Upchurch serves as SRO at Southwestern High School, where he will be completing his second year of service at the school at the end of this month.

It was announced yesterday that Upchurch was selected to receive the Region 6 School Resource Officer of the Year Award by the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of School Resource Officers.

He came on at the school after Sheriff Todd Wood and Superintendent of Pulaski County School Tim Eaton teamed up in a partnership, so they could have an SRO at the highest school in the county.

Wood said he wanted to work with the school system on this because any time there is an opportunity to go the extra mile to provide service to make a campus extra safe they wanted to be able to do that.

“We are very proud of Kenny and what he has accomplished in the SRO position,” said Wood. “Kenny deserved the accolades so much, as he cares about individuals at the school and takes great pride in providing his services.”

Southwestern High School Principal Boyd Randolph was very excited to hear that Upchurch had received the award, as he explained how Upchurch has such a connection with the students and has made a big difference at the school.

“Kenny understands the importance of making a personal connection with the kids and does a good job of that,” said Randolph. “He greets them and shows an interest in them.”

Randolph said in the mornings as he stands out in the hall with Kenny he watches him greet all the groups of students, as well individual student that passes by him.

“He knows the kids as well as any faculty member does,” said Randolph.

Randolph said because of the way he greets the students and talks with them, it has allowed Upchurch to develop a strong rapport with them and students have a positive experience when they are around him.

“He’s allowed us to address a number of safety concerns that are normal in a school in a very positive manner,” aid Randolph.

Wood said that it takes a person who can communicate with students well and yet do the job that being a school resource officer demands and Upchurch is able to do both.

“He is blessed with a personality that gains the students trust and respect,” said Wood.

Randolph also believes his presence is a major contributor in the drop in student drug related issues and has caused only positive affects on some matters that would involve law enforcement including drops in the numbers of students possessing drugs.

As well as that, Randolph said that his attentiveness to detail and his professionalism have just increased the level of safety and security at the school.

“Deputy Upchurch has been a positive addition at Southwestern High School,” said Eaton. “He is respected by staff and students alike and is well deserving of this recognition.”

This is the third year that the SRO awards have been presented and nominations were made by school and law enforcement administrators and officers statewide. Only those officers who are strong role models, and have provided services to their schools and communities above and beyond what is expected of their positions were eligible to receive the awards.

The Regional awards will be presented at the Kentucky Association of School Resource Officers board meeting at 4:30 on Tuesday June 19, with the award dinner to follow.

Region 6 is made up of Shelby, Franklin, Anderson, Woodford, Garrard, Mercer, Boyd, Lincoln, Russell, Wayne, McCreary, Rockcastle, Laurel and Pulaski Counties.

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