A Rock Hill officer was recognized Thursday as best in the state.
Rock Hill Schools and Rock Hill Police Department's Sgt. Mike Johnson has been named South Carolina School Resource Officer of the Year, said school district spokesman Mychal Frost.
Johnson has worked with Rock Hill Police Department for 12 years and supervises the school resource officers in the Rock Hill school district, Frost said in a statement.
Rock Hill Police Chief Chris Watts said school resources officers are able to build vital relationships with students.
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"It helps us build a relationship but is also an opportunity for the students just to have another outlet to get advice, help," Watts said in a Rock Hill school district video. "It's just a great relationship on both sides."
Frost said Johnson has also worked with Winthrop University professor Brad Tripp to research ways to make schools safer.
"Sgt. Johnson has taken the entire program to the next level," said Kevin Wren, Rock Hill Schools director of risk, security and emergency management. "He puts kids first in any decision, and he pushes his officers to always make the right choice for the kids as well."
Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys said Johnson represents Rock Hill — and the best of South Carolina.
"That's what we produce out of Rock Hill - champions," Gettys said in the district video. "We produce people that come to this community that want to make this community a better place for all people. And we seem to attract people like Sgt. Johnson, who has come in and used his talents to make this city a better place for more people."