INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Independence Police Officer Jeff Nunn has been named the recipient of the 2018 Susan Paxton Block Award for Distinguished Public Service. Officer Nunn, a school resource officer within the Independence School District since 2007, has worked diligently on the Youth Alcohol Diversion Program since 2007 and took it over in 2014.
“The Susan Paxton Block Award is the highest honor bestowed on a City of Independence employee or volunteer, and Officer Nunn’s work with our youth is a great example of why this award matters,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “His work has played a key role in the success and development of the Alcohol Diversion Program. We cannot overlook his passion for protecting our youth and thank him for all he does.”
One of the key aspects of the Alcohol Diversion Program is the Liquor Compliance Checks that are conducted within the City. Under his guidance, the program has seen a compliance rate increase from 81.8 percent in 2014 to more than 90 percent compliance each year since 2015. This is a result of the increased compliance checks conducted at businesses within the city multiple times each year. Officer Nunn has found grant dollars to make these increased checks possible, growing from a $7,000 in 2017 to nearly $34,000 in 2018.
“We are proud of the work our officers do in the community every day, but Officer Nunn is a shining example of the impact police work can have on our youth,” Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey said.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this award,” Officer Nunn said. “I really enjoy working with the students of Independence every day. I am in a unique position as a School Resource Officer, and I take that role seriously. I get to create a perception of police officers with youth that will impact how they see my profession for years to come.”
The Susan Block award is presented annually to a City employee, volunteer or elected official who has demonstrated outstanding public service, valor, and job performance with leadership. Junior Service League Past-president Kerry Cornett presented the award at the October 1 City Council meeting.
The Junior Service League, of which Block was a second-generation member and served as president in 1989-1990, presents the award annually at the City Council meeting just prior to Block’s birthday, September 24.