Carmel well represented at school resource officers’ awards ceremony


The Carmel Police Department, one of its officers and a Carmel Clay Schools administrator were among those recognized for excellence during the National Association of School Resources Officers conference held June 28 to July 3 in downtown Indianapolis.

NASRO is a nonprofit specializing in school-based policing. It aims to create safer schools by providing high-quality training to school-based law enforcement officers. Jay Farlow, NASRO public relations consultant, said the conference is hosted each year to recognize top policies and officers across the U.S.

CPD received the Model Agency Award. Mo Canady, NASRO executive director, said recipients of the award exemplify the NASRO triad concept.

“It means they are active in their law enforcement role, they’re active in their informal counseling and they’re active in their law-related education role,” Canady said.

Carmel receives awards at NASRO 2023 Awards Ceremony photo 2
CPD Officer Juan Navarrette, right, recipient of NASRO’s Bridge the Gap Award, and CPD Chief Jim Barlow. (Photo by Edward Reddd)

Carmel police officer Juan Navarrete, a school resource officer at Mohawk Trails Elementary, received the Bridge the Gap award. According to the NASRO website, recipients of the award show great devotion to forming strong relationships between youth and law enforcement.

Navarrete said there are many Spanish-speaking parents who know little English and have limited information about the schools. Being bilingual, he saw it as an opportunity to help and be the type of officer he did not see growing up in Indianapolis.

“I felt like I was just doing my job,” Navarrete said. “Part of the reason I became a police officer is because we didn’t have anybody who spoke Spanish.”

Carmel Police Chief Jim Barlow said he was proud of the department’s impact on school safety.

“Those relationships that they build with children go into when they become adults,” Barlow said. “They feel comfortable around police officers, and I think that is a long-term benefit.”

Also at the conference, David Woodward, director of student services for CCS, received the statewide Safety Leader of the Year Award from the Indiana School Resource Officers Association.