PTA to honor EPD officer and others for service to youth

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EUREKA- The 22nd District PTA is honoring individuals and organizations that serve the youth and families of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Officer Chris Jenkins of the Eureka Police Department is one of those people being honored.

Officer Jenkins has been with the EPD for more than 20 years.  As the School Resource Officer for the last four years, he spends time patrolling the schools of the Greater Eureka Area.

"I'm here for anything that the schools need, whether that be for advice to students, just being out with students so they're not so nervous of police officers in general so that they can see there are people that where the uniform and that they don't have to be afraid of them, they can see us in a positive light and we're not always there just to arrest people," said Officer Jenkins.

On Tuesday, the 22nd District PTA is giving an Honorary Service Award to Officer Jenkins.

"It's a very humbling thing and I'm very honored by it and I just thank them very much," Officer Jenkins said.

PTA officials say Officer Jenkins goes above and beyond his duties as an SRO.

“He connects with parents.  He connects with students.  He works with administrators.  All in an effort to have the best outcome for the child as opposed to just being a disciplinarian," said Heidi Davis, the 3rd Vice President of the 22nd District PTA.

"We want to give kids options on what they can do and teach them to make better choices.  Just because they do something doesn't mean they're going to get sent to juvenile probation or that they're going to get in trouble.  We want to teach them to be able to make better choices as they get older," said Officer Jenkins.

Officer Jenkins says he cherishes the relationships he’s built with students over the years.

"They've called me out a couple of times for night time stuff because I have known the kids and the kids have asked that maybe I come down.  So I've done that before and have a relationship with the kids.  So it's good.  In that part it's really good that the kids know you and they're not afraid to say, 'Hey, can Jenkins come down?'" Officer Jenkins said.

Rob Ayers is also receiving an award for his volunteer efforts throughout Humboldt County over the years, including being a math tutor for 4th and 5th graders.

Everyone is welcome to attend the awards ceremony on Tuesday, which starts at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Winship Middle School Multi Purpose Room.