Deb VanVelzen – Executive Board Secretary Candidate


Candidate Bio

Deb VanVelzen has been a law enforcement officer with the Des Moines Police Department since 2004.  In 2005, she was assigned to the School Resource Officer Unit where she is currently assigned to one of Iowa’s largest high schools.  Prior to her law enforcement career, Deb was a school teacher for eight years, teaching students with special needs and coaching high school athletics.

Deb’s passion in school safety and SRO training played a vital role in assisting her in establishing the Iowa Association of School Resource Officers (2008), where she currently serves on the board of directors as Treasurer.

Deb has been a dedicated and loyal member of NASRO since 2006.  She has extensive board experience, serving on the NASRO’s board as the Regional 5 Director (2010-12, 2016-17) and as Treasurer (2013-14).  While on the board, Deb traveled to state conferences, assisted states with obtaining quality NASRO training, managed NASROs financial records, and pioneered NASROs investment policy.  In addition, she has developed curriculum for NASRO’s Basic and Advanced Courses and has provided professional development training for NASRO’s instructors.  She is a NASRO practitioner and has traveled national and internationally as an instructor for NASRO.  For Deb’s exceptional service and dedication to providing quality training, she was awarded the NASRO Instructor of the Year Award in the 2008.

Deb has her bachelor’s degree in Education from Simpson College (Iowa) and is a veteran of the Iowa Army National Guard (Combat Medic).  She has two daughters and an amazing husband, Joe.


Campaign Platform

I am running for the National Association of School Resource Officer’s secretary position because I believe in the association’s mission of providing the highest quality of training that empowers SROs to provide safer schools for today’s youth.  I also believe that each and every board member should exercise every possible opportunity to further the association, beyond the basic job description of their assignment.

We (NASRO members) have a great opportunity through our multi-agency collection of members, to make a huge impact not only within our states, but across the nation promoting safe schools.  This can only be achieved with a highly motivated and dedicated leadership to guide the efforts of an equally motivated membership. I believe myself to be among those solid leadership choices for this association and the position of secretary.

I consider myself to be a team-player, outside-the-box thinker, dedicated worker, and extremely detail-oriented. With my experience as an SRO and former school teacher, I will bring a unique perspective and experience to the executive board.  Through these traits, I will continue to promote the growth and advancement of NASRO, bringing more opportunity and exposure to the association and our members.

I have served NASRO for the past 12 years as an active member, a loyal board member, and an instructor.  As board member, I have held the position of Treasurer and Region 5 Director.  During my tenure on the board, I have served continuously on the training committee where I have written curriculum for the Basic and Advanced Courses, and have provided instructor development for NASRO instructors.  As the Region 5 Director and an instructor, I have proudly represented the association within my region, across the country, as well as internationally.

In 2008, I played a crucial role in re-establishing the Iowa Association of School Resource Officers, where I currently serve as Treasurer, plan state conferences and SRO training, and manage membership.  In 2018, I had the privilege to speak with the US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, during a visit to Iowa about the importance of SROs, proper selection and training of SROs.

It is my hope to continue to propel NASRO as the world’s leader in school based policing and to serve the membership. Your support is greatly appreciated and I welcome any questions pertaining to my professional experience and look forward to the decision of the membership.