If you think being a police officer is not for the faint of heart try walking up into a middle school and trying to change lives.


Angel here and I still remember the first day I met Rick Latanzio like it was yesterday.  I was a Sophomore in college and headed to KWC cheer practice.  I was driving down Tamarack Road and my Sonic slushie fell out of the cupholder in my mom's car and onto the floor.   Instead of pulling over and stopping the car, I decided I could reach over and get it (not a good idea).  When I sat back up I was in the back of a pick-up truck rolling down the road.  I had hit a parked truck and my car was not inside it.  At the time Officer Latanzio was the first on the scene and he came to my rescue.  He even went with me to the hospital to make sure I was alright.  My mom was so thankful for his kindness and for taking the extra mile for me.  It wasn't just for me though he has always been that way and he continues in his new position as the Youth Service Center Coordinator with Owensboro Middle School.


Rick has literally been serving his whole adult life.  He worked for the Owensboro Police Department for 21 years, the last five serving as the school resource officer at Owensboro High School before retiring a year ago, and now he is at OMS.


I had the opportunity to work with Rick when I worked for the Owensboro Parks Dept. He was always trying to find ways to help others.  Being a Youth Service Center Coordinator requires long tireless hours, hard work, and dedication to the families you serve.  When I asked Rick how his job was going he said his first year was tough.  He went in during a pandemic.

Covid really changed things for all of us last year and it wasn’t until the last two months of the year we even had some normalcy with our school population. From the youth service center perspective it was difficult to make connections with the students as we didn’t see our students full time for most of the year.


OMS just recently added a blessing box to the campus.  Rick said he used money from his FRYSC budget to purchase it and local Owensboro Firefighter, Mark Kurz, installed it for him.  Here is what Rick hopes the box will accomplish;

My hope with the box is those students that are too afraid to ask for help will visit when no one is around and get what they need. OMS is centrally located so many of our students can walk or bike if needed. Not only is It for our students, but for those in the community that may need something. Again, being centrally located there is a large number of people that pass by daily and you never know when they might be in need of something. We don’t accept clothes or bedding.


The blessing box has been installed here at Owensboro Middle School thanks to Mark Kurz! The box has been installed to help students with food insecurities after-hours/wknds. It is also for those in our local community that may need some assistance as well.
Donations of food and toiletries are gladly accepted. You can simply leave them in the box, or if it is a large donation you can leave it at the front doors of OMS. Any questions feel free to message me


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