Marysville police officer Chris Sutherland was recognized as the Washington State School Resource Officer of the Year.

Sutherland was given the award in late July for his work with Marysville-Pilchuck High School over the last four years.

School Resource Officers are police officers who spend time at local schools.

"Chris does an amazing job," said Commander Mark Thomas with the Marysville Police Department.

"He's done amazing work with that school, working through their tragedy and after that with the kids, and all the challenges that brought," said Thomas.

The freshmen who were at M-PHS during the 2014 school shooting recently graduated in June and Sutherland spoke at the graduation.

"For that class I wanted to do something special," said Principal Dave Rose.

Initially Rose said he couldn't find a speaker that would be a good fit.

"But, it really fell perfectly in place when I asked Chris to do it," said Rose. "He got up and gave one of the most powerful messages."

Rose wanted to thank Sutherland for helping the kids since 2014.

"He has had a lot of perseverance through these last four years that he's stuck with M-P," he said.

In addition to supporting the kids, Sutherland helped start a local anti-bullying campaign.

During the summer of 2016 Sutherland, and fellow Marysville SRO Jeremy Wood, started an initiative to bring two speakers to the district.

"Chris was very instrumental, along with the other SROs, in bringing in an anti-bullying campaign to the Marysville School District," said Thomas.

Sutherland and Wood helped gather thousands of dollars from local businesses to bring former WWE pro-wrestler Mark Mero and Amy Briggs, a mother who lost who son from bullying, to the Marysville community.

Because of that campaign Mero and Briggs were able to come to Marysville's secondary schools in 2017, along with a free community event where they both talked to parents.

While working in the schools Sutherland makes it his mission to help kids who are struggling, said Rose.

"He tries to break down the barriers for the kids," said Rose. "He enjoys helping the kids."

Rose and Thomas said that Sutherland is great with the students.

"He's approachable. He doesn't show power, but he does command a presence," said Rose. "He brings a sense of calm when he's around."

"The kids find it very easy to approach Chris," said Thomas.

Thomas wanted to recognize the other SROs who work with a number of schools across the Marysville School District as well.

"We have an outstanding SRO team in terms of being responsive and balancing both the police department side and the school district needs," said Thomas.

"In my opinion all the Marysville SROs should be SRO of the year," he said.

Rose is also happy that Sutherland will continue working with the students at M-PHS.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.