Professional News

UK 2016 Police Officer of the Year: John Stanko

photo of UK Police Officer of the Year John Stanko with Chief Joe Monroe
John Stanko, left, accepted the award of UK Police Officer of the Year from UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. Photo by Jesica Lopez-Huskey.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2017) University of Kentucky Police Officer John Stanko was recognized last month as the police department's Officer of the Year for 2016. Each December, the UK Police Department (UKPD) bestows the award on an officer who "embodies the core values of professionalism, integrity, respect, customer service, responsibility and accountability."

Stanko graduated from UK in 2007 with a degree in economics and worked with his family for several years operating a small business until he felt called to public service and a new career path. He joined the UK police force in 2013 and graduated from the Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy in 2014.

During his tenure at UKPD, Stanko has served as a probationary training officer training newly hired officers; a member of the Motor Unit that brings a greater connection to the community through visibility and accessibility on motorcycle; and a member of the Dignitary Protection Unit, a specially trained unit assigned to high profile individuals visiting campus.

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said he looks forward to presenting the UK Police Officer of the Year Award annually.

"It is an award that is selected by all of the employees of the University of Kentucky Police Department," Monroe said. "This year’s award winner was not a surprise to anyone familiar with our outstanding team. Officer John Stanko goes above and beyond what is required by the average police officer. He exhibits the positive attitude and customer service skills that make him stand out.”

"I feel incredibly honored to be recognized by my superiors and colleagues at UKPD," Stanko said. "It is a privilege to serve our community and work with people who challenge me to continue to improve personally and professionally."

Among the many comments from Stanko's peers who voted for him are:

  • "He is a man of integrity, respect and very accountable. He has been commended for his customer service. He is an example for other officers to follow."
  • "He works hard to create a positive atmosphere while representing the department professionally and in a respectful manner."
  • "Officer Stanko is very knowledgeable about the general/special orders and statutes as well as applying them toward his everyday duties."

"While there are aspects of this job that are difficult, there are many more that are satisfying and enjoyable," Stanko said. "Whether it's assisting patients or staff at one of the hospitals, getting a drunk driver off the road, or just patrolling on a UK blue Harley Davidson, every day provides a new opportunity to promote a safe and secure campus environment."

Stanko lives in Jessamine County with his wife Lindsey, son Jack and dog Annie. The Stankos are expecting another son in April.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue