Marion officer receives SRO of the Year award

MIKE CONLEY/MCDOWELL NEWS

At the most recent Marion City Council meeting, Police Chief Allen Lawrence recognized Officer Mike Hensley (center) for completing the N.C. School Resource Officer program and being named Region C School Resource Officer of the Year. Lt. Jamie Harklerode (right) joined them for this recognition.

A Marion police officer has earned regional accolades.

At the most recent Marion City Council meeting, Police Chief Allen Lawrence recognized Officer Mike Hensley for completing the N.C. School Resource Officer program.

Hensley is one of two SROs working for the Marion Police Department. Both of them are certified through N.C. Training and Standards as resource officers. Hensley chose to advance his SRO training and knowledge and enter the certificate program which requires more than 400 additional hours of training as it relates to school safety, said Lawrence.

Hensley is only 252nd person since 2002 to achieve that recognition.

“That is very special to him and us as an agency,” said Lawrence to the City Council. “This shows Mike’s dedication to making our schools a safer place.”

Hensley was also recently awarded the Region C School Resource Officer of the Year. Region C is comprised of McDowell, Rutherford, Cleveland and Polk counties.

Lawrence presented Hensley with this award as well at Tuesday’s meeting. Hensley is the SRO for both Marion Elementary and Eastfield Global Magnet schools. He assists the staff daily with school safety planning and assessment, mentor programs and teaches DARE to all fifth-grade students in the city of Marion.

To date, approximately 400 fifth-graders have graduated from the revamped DARE program since Hensley took it over in 2016. Lt. Jamie Harklerode joined them for this recognition.

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