"Officer B.L. Harris was honored at the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers Conference last week for going above and beyond his duties as a School Resource Officer.
As the SRO for the SCALE (School Community Alternative Learning Environment) the last three academic years, Harris has immersed himself in bettering the lives of the students he serves. For his efforts in and out of school, he was awarded the Hank Snyder “Beyond the Call of Duty Award”.
“Going above and beyond the call of duty is just how Officer Harris is wired,” said his supervisor, Sgt. M.J. Harris (no relation). “He is about making a positive impact on his students, and meeting the needs of people within his community.”
Officer Harris is known for his sincere conversations with troubled youth. He talks with them about their roles as leaders and their future, and he stresses the importance of being good citizens in the community.
He is also quick to intervene when he students get off course – firmly yet fairly resolving discipline and disorder issues in the school. He once mediated differences between rival gang members in the same classroom so that the teacher could present the lesson in safety.
Harris not only talks the talk, he walks the walks the walk. An at-risk youth who grew up in Smith Homes, Harris was inspired to join GPD after being mentored by a Police Neighborhood Resource Officer, now retired Sergeant S.L. Hunter.
“Officer Harris is paying it forward” said Sgt. Harris. “He is an amazing mentor, father figure, and friend to the students. He instills in the kids that they can be anything they desire to be.”
The SRO is also known for his community outreach efforts. He started a program called “Kicks for Kids” to collect new and gently used shoes for children in need. During 2013, he received approximately $8,088 worth of shoes and clothes for students.
He organized a cleanup of Claremont Homes, getting city workers, residents and other police officers to remove unsightly debris and pick up large quantities of trash.
During the summer, Officer Harris solicited local barber shops and beauty salons, obtaining more than 250 vouchers for free services for students who could not afford them.
“His compassion for children is so big that the badge that sits on his chest cannot hide the enormous heart that lies behind it,” said Sgt. Harris.
Harris will start the 2014-2015 academic year as the SRO for Grimsley High School.
This is the third consecutive year that School Resource Officers from the Greensboro Police Department have earned recognition at the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers Conference. Last year, Officer O.E.Hudson, Jr. was recognized as the CC McGee School Resource Officer of the Year, the highest state award named in memory of the late former Assistant Sheriff of Forsyth County. In 2012, Officer C. M. Rouhlac earned the same award for being the best SRO in the state.
To find out more about GPD’s SROs, visit www.gsopd.org"
A Press Release