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The UTASRO Board consists of law enforcement officers that are employed at their respective agencies throughout the state of Utah. They come from different backgrounds, yet similar experience in their profession.

With decades of training and experience, these officers are dedicated to the protection, safety, and wellbeing of youth in the community. They are there to serve, instruct, and assist in any of your needs.


Officer Chris Ruiz

Officer Ruiz, President

Chris Ruiz is a Detective with the Pleasant Grove Police Department and is currently serving as the School Resource Officer. With over ten years of law enforcement experience, he has served in various capacities as a Deputy Sheriff, Patrol Officer, Traffic School Instructor, Investigator, CIT member, SRO, RAD Instructor, NOVA Instructor, just to name a few. He has a passion for making a connection with students, educators, parents, and the community. It's his belief that bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community is a win for everyone and promotes positivity, kindness, and support for the young people in the city.

Chris takes an active role in various school activities ranging from participation in the athletic program and school clubs to DJ and music performer with the student body. He is the advisor of the very first Law Enforcement and Multicultural Clubs at the high school and works closely with the Latinos in Action class. He is fluent in Spanish and applies his diverse and cultural knowledge as well as life experience with students of ethnic backgrounds. He is always willing to learn and eager to apply his knowledge to all with whom he comes in contact. Chris loves people and enjoys the opportunity to speak about his job and the wonderful learning experiences that have come his way!

1st Vice President

Officer Kelly Taylor

Officer Taylor, 1st Vice President

Officer Taylor has several years of experience in law enforcement and has worked in almost every capacity that it has to offer. He is currently assigned as an SRO for the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. Along with being an SRO, Officer Taylor teaches D.A.R.E. to fifth grade students at several elementary schools. He is also on the CHPD SWAT Team and the POU Team in the Salt Lake Valley.

With his involvement in the school setting Officer Taylor is trying to bring back the 'Officer Friendly' mentality to our young people, and help them realize that Officers do care. Officer Taylor is not only excited to be a part of UTASRO and bring training opportunities to SRO's throughout the state; regardless of experience and time as an Officer, but also training to the surrounding states to help Officers develop skills to become a successful SRO, while maintaining Officer safety and Police presence.

2nd Vice President

Officer Matt Alvernaz

Officer Alvernaz, 2nd Vice President

Matt Alvernaz was born and raised in the City of El Cajon which is located in east San Diego County, CA. As the son of a police officer, he was active in community involvement while progressing toward a career in law enforcement of his own. At the age of 16 he volunteered as a cadet with the El Cajon Police Department until he joined the US Army in 2005. Matt served a total of 4.5 years on active duty as an infantryman with the 2/75th Ranger Regiment.

Upon finishing his enlistment in 2010, Matt joined the San Diego Police Department where he worked patrol and various special assignments to include his two favorites, Field Training Officer and Cadet Advisor. He volunteered at the regional police academy as a "drill instructor" and helped facilitate a week-long cadet academy for volunteer youth ages 16 to 20. In 2017 Matt moved to Utah with his wife and four children. Matt accepted a job offer from the Saratoga Springs Police Department and was assigned to work in the City of Bluffdale as part of a contractual agreement between the cities.

Matt continued his trend of training and mentoring as a Field Training Officer and eventually becoming a School Resource Officer with the Jordan School District and a D.A.R.E instructor. Having attended both the basic and advanced SRO training through NASRO, Matt recognized the importance of this role and volunteered to be a part of the newly established UTASRO Board.

Matt places his family above all else and has a passion for sports and outdoor activities. He has coached football from kindergarten age to the high school level on and off since the age of 19 but has done so consistently each year since 2015. Matt currently sits on the board for the Westlake Youth Football League as the VP of Communications as well as the head coach for his son’s team.


Officer Justin Stanford

Officer Stanford, Treasurer

Justin Stanford is a police officer with the Kaysville Police Department. He works in the schools and is a N.O.V.A. Instructor. While he is away from school, he is a part time soldier in the Army. He has a vested interest in the safety, security, and well being of the students he looks after. Justin is the Treasurer for UTASRO and looks forward to serving the community of School Resource Officers.


Officer Todd Christensen

Officer Christensen, Secretary

Todd works for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office. Todd is currently in his 19th year as a law enforcement officer. Todd has had the opportunity to work most areas of law enforcement including: Corrections, Courts, Patrol, Community Resource Deputy, and Investigations. Todd has been assigned to numerous collateral assignments including Motors, Bike Patrol, Homicide Task Force, Medical Examiner Investigator, State Tobacco and Alcohol Compliance, CIT Instructor and Evaluator, and Traffic School Educator. Todd is currently assigned as the School Resource Deputy for Morgan High School and also teaches DARE at Morgan and Mountain Green Middle schools.

School Safety Liaison

Sergeant Jeremy Barnes

Sergeant Barnes, School Safety Liaison

Sergeant Jeremy Barnes is the School Safety Liaison with the Utah Department of Public Safety. Sergeant Barnes has served on the law enforcement career for 16 years and had worked in a variety assignments including patrol, investigations, DARE, and as a School Resource Officer. Sergeant Barnes earned his Bachelors Degree in Emergency Services Management from Utah Valley University. Sergeant Barnes also serves as a firefighter with the Montana Air National Guard. Sergeant Barnes enjoys spending time with his wife and their two daughters.

Student Involvement

Check out more student photos on the Students page

National Association