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Pearson obtains prestigious Practitioner status

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West Fargo Police Department Officer Todd Pearson, currently assigned as a School Resource Officer to both West Fargo High School and Community High School, has been awarded the status of National School Resource Officer Practitioner.

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Presented by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), this status indicates the highest degree of commitment to NASRO, the West Fargo school community and the young people served.

An elite group, there are currently only 133 active Practitioners nationwide, 27 of those within the ten-state midwest region, three in south Dakota, and only one other beside Pearson in North Dakota.

To achieve the status, Pearson was required to meet criteria established by NASRO, which included serving as an SRO for three years, completing basic and advanced training, attending a national conference, and satisfying an additional 160 hours of specialized police training relating to school security, student and community issues.

Pearson is a West Fargo native and 1990 graduate of West Fargo High School. He has been a police officer for almost 17 years, serving first with the Wahpeton Police Department. He joined the West Fargo Police Department in January of 2000 where he worked mainly as a patrol office and spent a couple of years with the Youth Academy, before becoming an SRO officer in January of 2008, serving both West Fargo High and Community High Schools.

Pearson and his wife, Teri, make their home in West Fargo, with their two children, Tammie and Tate, who are students in the West Fargo School District.

Achieving the task of practitioner was no small feat and has been a three year comittment for Pearson. "When I got into SRO and became a member of

NASRO I set a goal for myself of three years for achieving the qualification. Now that I've accomplished that, I feel really good about it."

Pearson said he "has always enjoyed working with the youth and in public relation areas of law enforcement. This has been what I have always geared my carreer toward, helping out the public and the youth of the community and guiding them toward making good choices."

He also has high praise for everyone he is associated with on a regular basis during this time at the two schools. "It has been a great job," Pearson said. "I have great respect for everyone involved with the West Fargo schools. They provide an excellent envirnoment and have been very accepting of the SRO program. All in all, it's a great team effort that has worked out well for the community. I really enjoy it all - working with the students, the parents and the staff."

In addition to receiving his Practitioner status locally, Pearson will be recognized on the national level at the annual conference of NASRO in June of this year at Orlando, Fla.

khuber@westfargopioneer.com

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