ABout Us

Arkansas Safe Schools Association


Don't Miss Out!

Registration Fee Includes

BBQ (Sunday)
Breakfast on two conference days
Lunch on two conference days
One Year Membership to the ASSA
Conference Materials
Door Prizes
Leadership Awards Breakfast
Karaoke Night!

Nominations Being Accepted SOON!!!

Links activated once nominations are being accepted.

You may help us by nominating deserving individuals for one of three ASSA leadership awards

Safe Schools Leadership Award for Chief or Sheriff - Criteria Form
Safe Schools Leadership Award for Education Administrator - Criteria Form
Kool-Aid "SRO of the Year" Award- Criteria Form

Nomination Form Can Be Downloaded HERE

Don't forget to register your "Cool Car" for the Arkansas Safe Schools Cool Car Contest!
Register Here!

2016 Conference Awards

Safe Schools Leadership Award for Chiefs and Sheriff's

Chief Richard Wingard, White Hall Police Department


Safe Schools Leadership Award for the Larance Johnson Education Administrator of the Year:

Mr. Jimmy King, Arkadelphia School District


The Kool-Aid "SRO of the Year" Award

Officer Calvin Allen, Little Rock Police Department



About Us

The Arkansas Safe Schools Association is a statewide, non-profit organization consisting of School Resource Officers, School Safety Personnel, School Administrators and others dedicated protecting our children and helping our schools maintain a safe and orderly climate, thereby creating a positive learning environment. Our goal is to provide consistent, up-to-date, affordable, quality, training that is available to all law enforcement agencies and school districts across the state.  This training, along with a communication network of school safety professionals will make Arkansas Schools a safer place to learn.

Arkansas Safe Schools Association Board:

personel bio pic President - Eric Huber  - Supervisor of Safety & Security Fort Smith Public Schools

Eric Huber is employed with the Fort Smith Public Schools as the Supervisor of Safety and Security. He has been with the Fort Smith School District  for 11 years. He currently oversees the Safety and Security of 19 Elementary schools 4 Junior High Schools 2 High Schools and 2 Alternative Schools and 1 Adult Education Center along with several administrative buildings. Eric serves a school district size of over 14,000 students and over 2,00 employees and works with the districts school safety committees. Eric plans with the District and school crisis teams and participates in ongoing crisis management planning and training. These program elements allow students and staff to share the responsibility as guardians of safety in their schools.

Prior to working with the Fort Smith Public Schools Eric was a Sergeant with the Barling Police Department for 10 years.  Eric is also a part-time I officer with the Logan County Sheriff's Department and has been a Police Officer for over 21 years. Eric is a graduate of Paris High School and is also a graduate of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy Class 95B. Eric has been married to his wife for 22 years and has two sons and two daughter in laws  and one grandson.
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Vice President - Dwayne Yarbrough (Yar-bro) - Arkansas Attorney Generals Office Community Educator
Dwayne Yarbrough, is the Community Educator in the Office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. A 20-year veteran of the office, Yarbrough helped to develop the youth-oriented law education curriculum, “Smart Choices, Better Chances”. As a program lecturer, he has received and granted invitations to speak to student, parent, educator and law enforcement groups on topics including law education, youth violence prevention, cyberbullying/bullying awareness, internet safety and criminal gang awareness at schools, conferences and trainings in and out of Arkansas.  He is a certified part-time II police officer with the Jacksonville Police Department.  He has represented the Attorney General’s Office on numerous committees as he serves on the board of the Arkansas Safe Schools Association, the Arkansas Drug Endangered Children’s Committee, and the Metropolitan Criminal Justice Advisory Board. He has two adult children, Brandon & Brianna and a grandson, Jayden and granddaughter Nixon.
personel bio pic Secretary/Treasure - Ms. Chris Foley -  Administrator of Program Development and Finance

Bio Coming Soon

personel bio pic Reporter - Officer Russ Manning - Jonesboro Police Department
Bio Coming Soon

Arkansas Safe Schools Association At Large Members/Conference Planning:

personel bio pic Sgt. Richard Davies - Past President:

Richard Davies recently retired from full time law enforcement with the Pine Bluff (AR) Police Department, Richard Davies specialized in awareness, intervention, prevention programs involving juvenile crime, gangs, drugs and other law related education programs. He was also involved in the Police Exploring Program, supervised the Neighborhood Watch Program, coordinator of the bi-annual (8-week) Citizen's Police Academy and the yearly National Night Out event.

A graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command, and with over 3,200 hours of training, Richard holds a Senior Certificate (law enforcement highest certificate level). He was a nationally recognized School Resource Officer before being promoted to Sergeant and Supervisor of the cities Law Related Education and Community/Public Relations Programs. He also served on the Crisis Negotiation Team, Public Information Officer, and as President of the Arkansas Safe Schools Association.

Richard, a certified law enforcement instructor, continues to train officers, teachers and school administrators all over the country to better prepare them to be more effective working with the School Resource Officer programs in the public school system.

Richard is currently working with the White Hall (AR) Police Department, over-seeing the A.P.I.G. Group and presenting the SHOT program to children across the stat
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Daphne Knighten - Past President 2009-2012 Assistant Principal Lakewood Middle School


Daphne is currently an assistant principal in the North Little Rock School District at Lakewood Middle School. She has been in education for the past 20 years. She was in the classroom for 10 years in the stats of Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Arkansas prior to administration. This year will begin her 12th year in administration. Ms. Knighten received a BFA at Louisiana Tech university and a MAT in Science and Math at Grambling State University.

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Officer Phil Blaylock - Past President 2012-2015  SRO Morrilton Police Department

Phil Blalock has been in law enforcement for over 19 years and just completed his 8th year as a school resource officer for the Morrilton Police Department. He started his law enforcement career with the Conway County Sheriff's Office. Along with being a certified law enforcement instructor he also is a part time firefighter for the Morrilton Fire Department. He also has attended EMT school and assist the local ambulance service with various calls. Phil Blaylock also holds several positions on their local boards including 100 proof (underage drinking and driving) and FFMA. He also is a certified Crisis Negotiator along with being an Active Shooter instructor. Mr. Blaylock has also served on the LEPC (Local Emergency Preparedness Committee) for over 11 years and has conducted several Crisis Plan workshops with his school dsitrict.

personel bio pic Cpt. James Virden -  Past President 2015-2016  SRO Lincoln County Sheriffs Department
James Virden has been in law enforcement for 14 years and has served 8 years being involved in school based law enforcement.  He started as an SRO at Watson Chapel School District and was assigned to the Junior High School in Pine Bluff.  James left the Pine Bluff Police Department and went to the Lincoln County Sheriff Department and was assigned to implement the SRO program for the Star City School District.  He is a G.R.E.A.T. instructor and also teaches the Netsmartz curriculum through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He is involved with the middle school and helps teach a CSI course for the 7th grade students.  He collaborated with the EAST lab at the high school and assisted with the filming for the Choices video.  This video was filmed by the Arkansas State Police and distributed throughout the state dealing with the topic of Underage Drinking.   James also assists with coaching track and field for the JR High and High School at Star City School District 
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Ms. Otistene Smith - Public School Program Coordinator-  Division of Public School Accountability-Federal Programs- Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

Mrs. Otistene Smith is a Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Education, Federal Programs Unit. Mrs. Smith has worked with the Department for 26 years in various positions such as: Public School Administrative Advisor-Title IV Safe and Drug Free Schools, Program Support Manager-Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP), and Standards Assurance Specialist-School Improvement Unit, where she did on campus standard reviews by visiting and monitoring school districts statewide assuring standards were in compliance with reviews of Title I, IIA, IV, V and VI Programs and reviewing drug education and prevention grants. Currently, Mrs. Smith  works  with Title I under the Every Student Succeeds Ac in reviewing applications for Priority and Focus schools, Federal Programs Complaint resolutions received from organizations, parents and schools, private schools across the state, attending different advisory board meetings on prevention and safe schools throughout the year.. She is a member of many committees such as: Mid-south Center for Prevention and Training, State Grievance Review and Mediation, Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) State Incentive Grant, Data Reporting, Arkansas Safe Schools Association, and Advisory Boards.

Prior to working with ADE, Mrs. Smith was a Public Health Educator Supervisor, with the Arkansas Department of Health here in Little Rock.  She worked for nine (9) years for this department..
Mrs. Smith is a product of Crossett High School, Crossett, Arkansas. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degrees at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas. Her area of studies is Health Education, with a minor in General Science and her Master of Science in School Health Education with an allied area in School Administration.

personel bio pic Sgt. Chris Salley - SRO Siloam Springs Police Department
Sgt. Salley is currently a school resource officer with the Siloam Springs Police Department in Siloam Springs, AR.  Sergeant Salley has been a police officer for 20 years.  In addition to his current assignment as a school resource officer, he has had vast experience working in the Narcotics Investigation Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Patrol. Notably, Sergeant Salley was a SWAT team member for 10 years. Other law enforcement experience includes working for DynCorp as a civilian police officer in Kosovo in 2001-2002. Over the years, Sergeant Salley has gained an enormous amount of knowledge through training on active shooter response. Sergeant Salley is an instructor for the Criminal Justice Institute’s Safe Schools Initiative Division and has delivered training to numerous school districts and educational cooperatives throughout the state.

Conference Planning

personel bio pic Brett Meek -   Assistant Principal Greenbriar School District

Brett Meek has been in education for 27 years all in the Greenbrier School District. He started in 1989 as a Social Studies teacher and, High School Football coach and 7th basketball coach. After coaching both Junior High and High School football, he became the district Athletic Director and Junior High Assistant Principal in 2002. During his 12 years as Junior High Assistant Principal he served 4 years as Athletic Director and 1 year as Transportation Director. In 2013 he became High School Assistant Principal  and currently holds that position. He is a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators and Arkansas Activities Association.

Brett graduated from Salem High School(Arkansas) in 1981, earned his BSE degree from UCA in 1989 and his MSE from UCA in 1998. His family includes his wife Laura, one daughter Kayli and grandkids Braelynn (6) and Paxten (1). stepdaughter Logan, and grandson Pryce (1) and niece Mikala all of the Greenbrier area.  

personel bio pic Jimmy King -   Assistant Principal Arkadelphia School District

Jimmy King is the assistant principal at Goza Middle School in Arkadelphia, AR. He has been in public education for 24 years. He is a board member for the Arkansas State Teachers Association, a member of the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Educators, Arkansas Administrators Education Association, Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Jimmy also has been involved with the Arkansas Safe Schools Association for the past 11 years.

personel bio pic Officer Greg Meharg-   SRO Beebe Police Department

Officer Meharg has been in Law Enforcement for over 16 years. He has been a School Resource Officer 12 of those years. Officer Meharg spent 11 years as a Resource Officer with the White County Sheriffs' Office/Riverview School District. Officer Meharg served as SRO supervisor for 5 of the 11 years with the Department. Officer Meharg currently works with the Beebe Police Department and is the current officer for the Beebe School District. Officer Meharg also serves his community as an elected Arkansas Constable for the Harrison Township and a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor for the Arkansas Game And Fish. Officer Meharg was a Nominee for the Arkansas Cool-Aid SRO of the year in 2012.

personel bio pic Officer Mandee Love -   SRO Quitman Police Department

Officer Love has been in Law enforcement for 13 years.  She has been a School Resource Officer for 11 of those years and started her career with the Baxter County Sheriff's Office where she was the SRO at Hackler Intermediate School and Pinkston Middle School.  Officer Love is  currently an SRO with the the Quitman Police Department and serves the Quitman School District.  Along with being a certified law enforcement instructor, Officer Love is also a D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. Instructor.



CJI Staff Support:

personel bio pic Yvonne Burk - CJI Project Specialist

Yvonne has worked with the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System for over 20 years. Ms. Burk holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Resources Management from Troy State University and an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has over 25 years experience in organizational management and is a certified law enforcement instructor.

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Vicki French - SSID Program Coordinator

Vicki French is currently the Program Coordinator for the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System, Safe Schools Initiative Division.  She earned both a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Vicki is also a licensed teacher for the state of Arkansas and is certified to teach high school Business Technology for grades 7-12. In addition to past experiences in teaching at the high school level, she also taught college business classes as an adjunct business instructor for Black River Technical College. Prior to teaching, she worked as a tax preparer, tax instructor, and office supervisor for H&R Block. Vicki enjoys spending her free time with her husband Jason and their two sons, Drake and Liam.

personel bio pic Ashlee Jackson- SSID Program Assistant

Ashlee earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice in 2011 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Previously, she served as a mental health paraprofessional at Youth Homes, Inc. and also as a substitute teacher for eSTEM Public Charter School in Little Rock. She worked as an Education and Enrichment Coach for UALR’s Children International, a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and enrichment programs, educational services, and health services to low income families. In addition, she has been active in youth program planning and development, mentoring, tutoring, and community services since 2003.

personel bio pic Jimmy Nobles - Assistant Director National Center for Rural Law Enforcement

Jimmy Nobles is an Assistant Director for the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System, Safe Schools Initiative Division and the Cyber terrorism Defense Initiative. Mr. Nobles has a BA degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, and is a graduate of the 154th session of the FBI National Academy. Mr. Nobles is a former law enforcement officer with the Hot Springs Police Department, serving in every division of that agency beginning in April, 1976 until retiring in September, 1997. Mr. Nobles has been employed with the Criminal Justice Institute since September 1997.


personel bio pic Betty Williams - CJI Program Assistant

Bio Coming Soon









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