The Kansas Juvenile Officer’s Association (KSJOA) hosted their annual awards banquet on Thursday, July 20th at the Double Tree by Hilton in Lawrence, KS. KSJOA issues annual awards for student DARE Essay winners as well as law enforcement officers, administrators, and school administrators who go above and beyond their call of duty in the areas of law related education, school safety, and school security. The award recipient nominations are submitted to and chosen by the KSJOA awards selection committee. Please see the attached documents for a copy of the winning DARE Essay as well as further information on each award recipient.

This year’s awards recipients were as follows:

DARE Essay Award Winner: This year’s DARE Essay Award went to Lucy Haller. Lucy was a student at Benton Elementary School in the Circle School District and will be attending Circle Middle School next year. Lucy is the daughter of Patrick and Connie Haller of rural Benton, KS.

In addition to the award, Lucy was awarded a $100 prize and a tour of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office for her dedication to living a drug free life. Lucy was nominated by her DARE Instructor, Deputy Braden Moore from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. DARE Officer of the Year Award: This year’s DARE Officer of the Year was Junction City Police Officer Jay Wigton. Officer Wigton was nominated for the award by Lincoln Elementary Teacher Jennifer Farr.

School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year Award: This year’s SRO of the Year was Junction City Police Officer Eddie Torres. Eddie was nominated for the award by Junction City High School Principal Melissa Sharp.

Law Enforcement Administrator of the Year Award: This year’s Law Enforcement Administrator of the Year Award went to Chief Mary Kendrick from the Sterling Police Department. Mary also serves at Secretary for KSJOA. Chief Kendrick was nominated for the award by Officer Justin Carter from the Sterling Police Department. School Administrator of the Year Award: This year’s School Administrator of the Year Award went to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Fred Dierksen from Sterling, KS. Dr. Dierksen was recently named Superintendent for Dodge City, KS. Dr. Dierksen was nominated for the award by Officer Justin Carter from the Sterling Police Department.

KSJOA President’s Award: The KSJOA President’s Award is chosen by the KSJOA President. The KSJOA President’s Award is reserved for a KSJOA board member for exceptional service to the KSJOA Board as well as exceptional service to the community the serve. This year’s President’s Award was given to Newton Police Officer Jon Adkins. In addition, Officer Adkins was nominated for SRO of the Year by his Lieutenant, Bryan Hall for his outstanding service to the Newton Police Department. Officer Adkins currently serves as a board representative for KSJOA.