Cedar City Police officer gets statewide honor for making a difference with youth through coaching

Composite image with background photo of Cedar City Police patrol vehicle and overlay photo of Sgt. J.R. Robinson who received NAACP First Responder Award, St. George, Utah, Jan. 29, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Cedar City Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Cedar City police sergeant was recognized for his efforts that go above and beyond his law enforcement career and have extended into the community as a softball coach at Canyon View High School.

Cedar City Police Sgt. J.R. Robinson received the NAACP First Responder Award, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 29, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Cedar City Police Department, St. George News

Cedar City Police Sgt. J.R. Robinson was awarded the First Responder Award as part of the 37th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Rosa Parks Commemoration that was presented to him on Jan. 18 in recognition of his significant contribution to the community he serves, department spokesperson, Sgt. Clint Pollock said.

Robinson is a 24-year veteran of law enforcement and was nominated for the award in a letter sent to the NAACP and he was then selected from a pool of nominees submitted by police and fire departments across the state.

Robinson is one of two officers from local law enforcement agencies to be honored. Dixie State Department of Public Safety Director Blair Barfuss also earned the award.

Robinson began his career in policing as a corrections officer and once he joined the Cedar City Police Department, Pollock said, he moved up the ranks while serving in a number of different positions. That included investigations, public information and training, to name just a few, and he now serves as an administrative sergeant tasked with implementing changes and upgrades to the way in which evidence is collected and secured.

Poster announcing winners of the NAACP First Responders Award. | Image courtesy of Blair Barfuss, St. George News

The award also recognizes officers who serve their communities daily, something Robinson has been doing for years as a varsity softball coach at Canyon View. He has also coached a traveling softball team for nearly 10 years.

Pollock said Robinson’s efforts with youth go beyond providing instruction and exercises that benefit the sport they play. It is also the social connection that helps to form positive relationships between the younger population and the police, which tends to help shape the perception of law enforcement as “one of the good guys.”

“It’s huge for an officer to be involved in the community,” Pollock said. “An officer’s influence and example can help these kids make to good decisions that can positively impact them for the rest of their lives.”

Pollock said the department has had at least four officers who have received the award over the past several years.

Robinson’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, at least from the hundreds of reactions and messages posted on Cedar City Police Department’s Facebook page congratulating and honoring the officer for the service he provides to the community.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!