Albert Lea police officer given state award

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One of Albert Lea’s school resource officers has been selected as the Outstanding Juvenile Officer of the Year through the Minnesota Juvenile Officers Association.

At the end of last month, the association notified the Albert Lea Police Department that officer Ted Herman, who is the school resource officer at Albert Lea High School, was selected for the award.

He is being recognized today for the award in front of the students at the school.

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In a letter nominating Herman for the award, Lt. J.D. Carlson said Herman has been the co-coordinator for the high school’s drug and alcohol awareness programs, has coordinated public service awareness commercials and has coordinated all K-9 searches in the district.

He escorts a group of six to eight at-risk students to the St. Cloud Correctional Facility for their Straight Talk Program and has been a guest speaker in the criminology, health, forensic science, social studies, driver education and options classes, Carlson wrote. He has assisted in writing school district policy, has been a varsity basketball score board official for the boys and girls and is on the board for alcohol- and drug-free schools.

“SRO Herman has demonstrated above and beyond the call of his regular assignment, his willingness to work toward the betterment of youth in Albert Lea,” Carlson said.

Herman’s day-to-day activities include providing security for students and staff and being in charge of all law enforcement issues such as fights, thefts, accidents or drugs, Carlson wrote. He also counsels students with their daily problems and has chaperoned school trips in previous years to Washington, D.C., and Spain.

Recently, Herman has been involved with Project Pride, a civic effort to promote community pride within the city and within the school district.

Herman’s support of the Albert Lea Police Department’s Safe & Sober campaign has also had many impacts on the students, Carlson said. The student resource officer’s top priority is preventing drinking and driving by teens, and each year he takes health classes out to drive a course in a golf court while wearing drunk goggles.

Albert Lea Area Schools Superintendent Dave Prescott said Herman is a valued asset in the school district and in the community.

“The students know and trust him and often talk to him about things that are happening within the school environment that need adult intervention,” Prescott wrote. “Parents know that when Ted is involved and working with our school administrators, student discipline issues will be handled fairly and discreetly, and with the hope that the consequences for inappropriate behavior will lead to lessons learned for the future.”

He said Herman “has often gone above and beyond the call of duty in the interest of resolving issues with students and parents.”