Officer Tony Pate nationally recognized with award of valor for his swift actions under pressure

On Jan. 13, 2021, as students and staff were arriving at Carroll Middle School in Southlake, TX, Officer Tony Pate BA ’04 responded to a call for service regarding a mentally disturbed person with visible blood on their hands and clothing, within 500 feet of the school. Pate quickly coordinated with Carroll Middle School and nearby Johnson Elementary to get both schools into lockdown mode. Pate’s controlled communication and tactical skills helped him and a fellow officer deescalate the situation and disarm the subject. No officers or bystanders were injured, and the subject was ultimately arrested.

For his brave actions that led to a peaceful resolution that day, Pate was presented with the Award of Valor by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) in July. According to NASRO, valor awards “are given for a single act of courage and valor, above and beyond that expected of normal incidents/actions of a school resource officer or school staff member.”

Reflecting on how he handles intense situations like the one in January, Pate says, “I rely on my training and provide effective communication. While responding to major calls I take a quick moment to ask our Lord to help give me some guidance for a safe outcome.”

At Concordia-Chicago, Pate earned his bachelor’s degree in law and justice. “I felt my college experience prepared me for my career path, especially the internship I was required to do at a police department,” he says. “Taking classes such as criminology, diversity and American society, and juvenile delinquency also gave me knowledge that I use to this day in my law enforcement career.”

The NASRO award is not Pate’s first accolade as an officer—he was named the Southlake Police Department Officer of the Year in 2019, and nominated for the Southlake Carroll ISD Distinguished Service award for the 2019-2020 school year. Pate has more than 14 years of law enforcement experience in Southlake and Bedford, TX.

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Tony Pate ’04, law and justice major
Southlake, TX