FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One Student Resource Officer said goodbye to students and staff at Memorial Park Middle School on Thursday as she prepares to embark on a new chapter.

Officer Sherronda Blocher has served as a Student Resource Officer at Memorial Park Middle School since 2019. This was just before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she said allowed her to develop one-on-one relationships with students because only half were attending school.

Thursday, three floors full of students and staff sent Blocher off with a parade. Blocher said she left with over 100 signs of appreciation from students. Staff members also decorated her office.

“Being a police officer and being an SRO, you don’t really realize the impact you have on the kids,” Blocher said, “And today kind of showed that the kids really appreciate it and you see it in their faces, like today when I was coming down the hall, some kids were actually crying. So it really it really hit me that I am kind of important around here.”

Blocher said the reaction students had Thursday was overwhelming.

“It was pretty bitter sweet and it was really emotional. Just to see how much the kids care,” Blocher said.

Blocher has served as a police officer since 2007. Monday, she will be promoted to a Sergeant with the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD).

She will be the only Black woman with the rank of Sergeant currently with FWPD.

“I was in the military and then now I’m a police officer so it makes me feel good that females can do this, I show them they can do this, so I’m glad I can influence them,” Blocher said.