Cpl. Sarah Hardin of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department was named the Missouri School Resource Officer of the Year.

Hardin received the honor this week while at the Missouri School Resource Officer’s Association (MSROA) Annual Training Conference.

Staff members from the Mid-Buchanan R-V School District nominated Hardin in February. Many of them said how for many students, Hardin may be the only adult they trust enough to share what is going on in their lives.

“With any kid, when I see them several years later and I hear about how successful they are out in the world and what they’re doing, it just makes me so happy, especially knowing if I helped them at some point along the way,” Hardin said.

Hardin was assigned as a school resource officer in 2008. She started as the first full-time SRO in Buchanan County, and now there is one in every Buchanan County school.

“Sarah took the SRO program and really rocketed it forward and took an initiative in a lot of areas that hadn’t been addressed before,” said Col. Bill Puett of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department. “Her skills, her efforts, all those things have really made that program what it is.”

Throughout the last eight years, Hardin has dealt with a variety of situations. She said she’s seen the need for food inside student homes and helped to get a Backpack Buddies program started at the school. Hardin also worked to help students who didn’t have electricity or water in their home.

“On a daily basis, it can change multiple times throughout the day, and we just kind of learn to carry a backpack with a lot of tools to be able to carry whatever those kids need,” Hardin said.

Along with the honor, Hardin also received a class ring from Jostens. She said she will be able to give that ring to a high school student who may not be able to purchase one on his or her own.

“It’s rewarding for me to not only get this honor from my peers, but then be able to have something on top of that I can give back to someone else,” Hardin said.

-via Newspressnow.com