Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 11:30 AM CDT

Deputy Sheriff John Shallenberger of Tazewell County Sheriff's Office honored by peers at national conference of school resource officers

AURORA, Colo., July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Deputy Sheriff John Shallenberger, who serves as a school resource officer in Tazewell County, IL, has been named the recipient of the 2022 "Innovation in the Classroom Award," given by The National Road Safety Foundation and NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers. Deputy Shallenberger was selected by a panel of his peers and received the award yesterday at the annual NASRO Conference here.

The award, which recognizes innovative teaching of traffic safety in schools by a police officer, carries with it full conference registration and an expenses-paid trip to the NASRO Conference.

Dep. Shallenberger, who has been a Deputy Sheriff for 20 years, is a founding member and currently chairs the Tazewell Teen Initiative. The Initiative was instituted in 2006, after 15 teens had been killed in traffic crashes throughout the county over a 15-month period. The Initiative helped kick off Operation Teen Safe Driving, a multifaceted safety education program in all seven county high schools. Within two years, the peer-to-peer safe driving initiative was expanded statewide and 105 schools received financial assistance to develop programs emphasizing seat belt use, distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding. As a result, the county had no fatal teen crashes for five years.

Dep. Shallenberger, with his partner, also developed a class curriculum called Decision Driving, a two-part class with a hands-on exercise. It was developed after meeting with local teens to determine topics they thought their peers need, including dangers for teen drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, avoidable situations in motor vehicles and various driving techniques.

Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said, "Deputy Shallenberger has demonstrated great creativity and his leadership has help expand good programming into many more schools."

"We are pleased to recognize Deputy Shallenberger's innovative thinking that is having a proven positive impact on the safety of our young people on the road," said Michelle Anderson, Director of Operations at The National Road Safety Foundation.

NASRO, the world's leader in school-based policing, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1991 for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators and school security and/or safety professionals who work as partners to protect schools and their students, faculty and staff members.

NASRO developed the "triad" concept of school-based policing, which divides SRO responsibilities into three areas: educator, informal counselor/mentor and law enforcement officer. By training law enforcement officers to educate, counsel and protect school communities, the more than 3,000 men and women of NASRO continuously lead by example and promote a positive image of law enforcement to school children and school communities. For more information, go to

The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that for 60 years has been dedicated to reducing crashes, deaths and injuries on our nation's highways by promoting safe driving habits through greater public awareness.

NRSF programs deal with distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency and pedestrian safety. The Foundation also works with key youth advocacy groups and sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit

Media Contact:
   David Reich   914 325-9997

View original content:

SOURCE National Road Safety Foundation, Inc.

The above press release was provided courtesy of PRNewswire. The views, opinions and statements in the press release are not endorsed by Gray Media Group nor do they necessarily state or reflect those of Gray Media Group, Inc.