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Police Department Receives National Recognition

MOUNT VERNON, March 14, 2023 – The Mount Vernon Police Department is proud to announce
that it has been recognized for its exceptional work in implementing two programs, one focused on
specialized training and the other introducing a therapy dog to the community.

The specialized training program, which was implemented three
years ago, is designed to help officers by using a scenario-based
format that provides practical and realistic situations that can be
analyzed and improved upon. Lt. R.A. Young, who manages the
program and leads the instruction, began building the program after
extensive research and through his continuing education. The
program focuses on officer response to rapidly changing scenarios
and environments. This training has proven to be crucial in helping

officers effectively respond to high-risk situations, as well as for de-
escalation methods, resulting in a safer outcome for all involved.

Lt. Young is a decorated veteran and law enforcement officer with
an impressive career spanning more than two decades. He served
in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan before working as a
contractor for the Defense Security Service. Later, he attended the
Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy before becoming a
member of the Mount Vernon Police Department in 2008. In
addition, Lt. Young has
served as a SWAT
Commander and later
as Team Leader. He
was promoted to Emergency Service Unit
Commander in 2020, making him responsible for
leading the team during high-risk situations.
The Mount Vernon Police Department has also
implemented a therapy dog program, with a canine
assigned to School Resource Officer Jeremiah
Armstrong. The program is used daily at the schools
and features Nova, who is trained to work with
Patrolman Armstrong to provide emotional support to
people in need. Nova is specially trained to work with
individuals who have experienced trauma or high
levels of stress, such as crime victims or children in
difficult situations. The program has been a great success, with students and community members
expressing gratitude for Nova’s comforting presence during difficult times.
Lieutenant R.A. Young

Patrolman Jeremiah Armstrong with therapy dog
Nova

Page 2 of 2

Patrolman Armstrong is a highly respected Police Officer with a career spanning more than two
decades. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Mount Vernon Nazarene
University, he began his career with the Marion Police Department in 2003, where he served until
joining the Mount Vernon Police Department in 2008. In 2014, Patrolman Armstrong was assigned
a temporary position as a School Resource Officer (SRO), which turned into a full-time position a
year later. As an SRO, he has worked tirelessly to create a safe and secure learning environment
for students, faculty and staff.
“The outstanding work of the Mount Vernon Police Department has not gone unnoticed, as seen
by LAW Publications’ recognition of both of these programs,” said Police Chief Robert Morgan.
“This recognition serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of the officers and staff of
the department in providing exceptional service to the community.”
The Mount Vernon Police Department would like to thank the community for its continued support
and for the opportunity to serve and protect them. It remains committed to providing the highest
level of service and support to those in need.

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