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Yuma police officer recognized by school district
Yuma Police Officer Chris Lackey was recently awarded the Crane Elementary School District’s Customer Service Award. He is assigned as a school resource officer for both Crane and Centennial middle schools.
Superintendent Cindy Didway presented Lackey with a plaque at the All-Crane District Celebration on May 30.
“I congratulate Officer Lackey for being recognized by the Crane School District for his excellent work as a school resource officer,” said Yuma Police Chief John Lekan. “Chris is a prime example of the dedication and commitment our officers share with the schools.”
Crane Middle School Principal Laurie Doering and Assistant Principal Neil Johnson nominated Lackey for the award.
“Officer Lackey is what every employee should use as an example of quality customer service. His efficiency allows him to extend beyond the requirements an SRO must complete. Whether it is a student, parent or staff member, he always has the time to listen and work on solutions. With a smile on his face and a wealth of knowledge and experience, he is much more than the campus cop.”
In recognizing him, Doering and Johnson praised Lackey for his proactive stance on issues in the middle school, saying that his teaching, combined with his involvement in other programs, has led to a decrease in issues in violence and drugs.
Lackey was also credited for being an important part of the school team dealing with bullying and student-to-student conflict. He has also been involved in the recovery of over $2,000 in property stolen from the school or its employees.
“The students have learned to trust him and often seek his assistance. They know he will be fair. He regularly contacts parents and keeps them informed of issues relating to their students,” the award nomination reads. “It is very difficult to split one’s time between two sites but he does it with equity and professionalism.”
An SRO for three years now, Lackey said he initially wasn’t sure it was something that he wanted to do because he was uncomfortable doing public speaking and he didn’t have a background in teaching. He eventually decided to give it a try and started out at Castle Dome Middle School.
“I realized it’s not so much what we are teaching the kids, but more about getting them involved in situations and getting information from them to help them show us that they are understanding, and they aware of their choices,” Lackey said. “So it’s not so much a teacher’s role, but as it is being in the role of a leader.”
Lackey, a 10-year veteran of the police force, said he was very pleased to have received the award.
“The things I did, that I got the award for, I don’t think I did anything above and beyond what I would have been expected to do as a police officer, or as a school resources officer,” Lackey said. “So it was just a pleasure to realize that other people are recognizing what we are doing for the community. I would continue to do the same exact things with or without the award.”
Not knowing whether he would show up to receive his award if he knew he was getting it, Doering and Johnson, who knew Lackey was always willing to help the school, actually tricked him into attending by asking him to mind coming to the All-Crane District Celebration tohelp hand out tickets.
Lackey has also served as the school resource officer at Ron Watson Middle School.