Escambia County’s First School Resource Officer Retires From ECSO

December 11, 2020

The first school resource officer in Escambia County has retired.

Commander Dale Tharp retired from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office after 39 years. On Thursday, family members and friends honored him for his nearly four decades of service.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.


45 Responses to “Escambia County’s First School Resource Officer Retires From ECSO”

  1. Dee Wolfe-Sullivan on December 16th, 2020 4:24 pm

    Wishing you a very happy life. Thanks for all your help many years ago when Pine Forest had to have summer classes at Woodham.

  2. Mandy Spruill on December 15th, 2020 9:41 pm

    Congratulations Pork Chop! You saved me more then once at Woodham. You are an amazing man and deserve to relax now. Live it up! Love your former student!

  3. Georgette Harris on December 15th, 2020 1:18 pm

    Congratulations Dale, I hope you enjoy a much deserved retirement! Thank you for your service to Escambia County and being a pillar of the community for people to respect. You have been a great resource and friend to many and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. Cathy Boehme on December 14th, 2020 2:15 am

    Dale! Enjoy your retirement. As first SRO, you set a standard for all that followed. I always admired the respect and professionalism you showed our Titans as they learned to be adults. Reading the comments, I see your lessons stuck with them. Thank you for your service to our students and our community.

  5. Pam Ard on December 14th, 2020 12:30 am

    Congratulations on your retirement, well deserved.

  6. Amy on December 13th, 2020 7:22 pm

    I remember this great guy! Congratulations and may God bless you as you begin this new chapter. Relax. You deserve it! Amy, c/o ‘89!

  7. Ellen Tim on December 13th, 2020 3:05 pm

    It’s hard to believe, just how fast, the years have flown by. Not once, have I ever heard, a negative word about you. You have always been, the kindest human being, I have ever known ! I, hope and pray, that my son and son in law, who are Deputies, follow in your footsteps. That would be amazing. I am so proud to know you. I still wish, you had ran for (Sheriff). Although, we have had, some good ones. I still believe you would have made an awesome Sheriff for our county ! I hope you enjoy every minute of your retirement !! Thank you so much for your service. Your are admired and loved by many!!!

  8. Kathy Crooke Littlefield on December 13th, 2020 2:04 pm

    Congrats Officer Dale!!!! Happy retirement from Woodham High School C/O 89!!!

  9. bo martin on December 13th, 2020 1:58 pm

    Dale, you are a great man, my kids, Charles, Labo, and Danielle (wheelchair) and i only have the highest respect for you. wishing you the best, stay safe. thanks again for all you have done.

  10. Rebecca Russell-Estrada on December 13th, 2020 12:36 pm

    Congratulations, Cousin!!! Best of luck in your next chapter! Love and miss you!!!!

  11. Christopher Brooks on December 13th, 2020 11:08 am

    Congratulations Mr.Dale Tharp from the class of 96

  12. Rebecca on December 13th, 2020 10:38 am

    Wow!! Congratulations!!! Dale is amazing!! When I’d leave for OJT he’d always warn us of speed traps

  13. Rebecca on December 13th, 2020 10:36 am

    Wow!! Congratulations!!! Dale is amazing!! When I’d leave for OJT he’d always warn us of speed traps

  14. Anthony Thompson on December 13th, 2020 10:22 am

    Congratulations Mr. Dale on your very well deserved and earned retirement. You have helped and inspired many of us throughout your career. You were the one who led us safely to and from all of our playoff games in the early to mid 80’s. I always got excited when I saw those blue lights come on and you escorting us to our destination. We considered you as a member of our great team. Thank you so much for all of your sacrifices and dedication. Woodham class of 1987. Titans4Life

  15. Mary Bradley Bowman on December 13th, 2020 9:47 am

    Dale, you will always be the best!!! The class of ‘87 love you and appreciated everything you did. You were a big part of our class!!! You made a us all love and respect sheriff/police officers. You inspired a lot of us!!! They broke the mold after you!!! Congratulation on an amazing career and enjoy your retirement!!!!!

  16. Javon Richardson on December 13th, 2020 6:25 am

    Mr. Dale you was the resource officer and too this day you will remember your kids. You treated us as if we was your own……enjoy your retirement !!!!!

  17. Leslie Blackmon Powell on December 12th, 2020 7:21 pm

    Congratulations Officer Dale, you started at Woodham High I believe my senior year.
    Always so easy to talk to. Never tolerated bullying and treated everyone like they were equals. I remember you never really sat still very long. Encouraged myself and other to always try to do better. Job well done sir!

  18. Sandy Young on December 12th, 2020 3:14 pm

    Many congratulations, Dale! You are the only SRO I ever knew, so I can’t compare you to anyone else . . . but I KNOW FOR SURE that you were THE BEST! You kept us safe at WHS, and you also added lots of humor to our days. Do you remember when we had “arrest day” or something like that, when you went to classes and took kids to jail . . . all in fun, of course! I wish you a very happy retirement, my friend. Do lots of whatever you love to do! Hey! Come to see us in the Land of Enchantment . . . that’s New Mexico! Sending you lots of love and great big hugs!
    Sandy Young

  19. Kingofgolfing on December 12th, 2020 12:41 pm

    Congratulations on your retirement Dale

  20. Richard Hall on December 12th, 2020 12:32 pm

    Congratulations on your retirement Commander Tharp. I will always thank you for the nickname “sexy legs” after our Halloween Band halftime show in 1986. You were a great guy. Thanks from the class of 1987.

  21. Sherryll on December 12th, 2020 8:44 am

    He was such a great person to have around. Always smiling! Congrats and thank you for your service. Woodham Class of 90.

  22. Natalia Gomez on December 12th, 2020 8:24 am

    Congratulations! We all love you Dale! You are one of the best. Thank you for always treating us with respect! #WoodhamTitans c/o 97

  23. Jeannie Stoos (Southard) on December 11th, 2020 10:51 pm

    Congratulations! I hope you enjoy retirement! You definitely deserve it. Thank you for all your years of service.
    Woodham class of 93

  24. Amy Sosa AKA Amy Hudman on December 11th, 2020 10:17 pm

    Congrats Officer Tharp, you will never understand all the help you gave me to direct me in my life. Enjoy, you deserve it.

  25. Maranda on December 11th, 2020 9:03 pm

    Class of ‘97! I loved him!

  26. Felicia on December 11th, 2020 6:50 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Officer Dale while working as an Assistant Manager at Dirt Cheap. Even if it were just for a moment, he always entered the store with a smile on his face. His presence was undeniable. He was always kind to those that crossed his path.

    For what it’s worth, he definitely impacted my life just by showing me no matter how bad things may seem, there’s always reason to smile……

    Congrats Officer Dale, I wish you nothing but the best & pray you’ll enjoy your retirement.

    Maybe we’ll cross paths again in the future as I’m no longer at DC…. God Bless

  27. Bill Slayton on December 11th, 2020 6:03 pm

    Thank you for your service to the students of Escambia County schools. Enjoy your retirement.

  28. DK on December 11th, 2020 5:33 pm

    Awesome human being Woodham High class of 1990!

  29. MtnDew on December 11th, 2020 5:31 pm

    It is great to see there are good LE out there that are so admired by the public for truly having a passion and love for others. Hopefully he has passed some of that down to other, new ECSO. And they remember we are all citizens. Great job, enjoy your retirement!!!!!

  30. Blaire (Crowley) Reyes on December 11th, 2020 5:31 pm

    Congratulations!! Enjoy this next chapter… Thank you for your service! Woodham Class of ‘95 – Go Titans!!

  31. Lynda on December 11th, 2020 4:36 pm

    Congratulations Commander Tharp on your retirement. Woodham Class of’ ‘87.

  32. Tara on December 11th, 2020 2:47 pm

    Very awesome! What an accomplishment here(((:you should be proud pat on the back for sure :-) thank you for your hard work and service!

  33. Crystal Maxwell Lane on December 11th, 2020 1:38 pm

    Officer Dale! You are def one in a million. Even years after graduating from Woodham in 1986 if I see you out and about you still remember me. :-) My daughter has had a couple of SROs that do a pretty good job but none compare. You were the perfect role model to begin the SRO program! Enjoy Retirement…You deserve it!

  34. Carolyn Privitera Hines on December 11th, 2020 1:15 pm

    Congratulations, for your service and a difficult job well done. Wishing you the best in your retirement. Welcome to the other side.

  35. Wanda Anderson on December 11th, 2020 12:53 pm

    Officer Dale you were the sweetest..kindest and bravest officer ever known…those eyes were the killer amongst us younger will forever make my memories of Woodham High the were and still are HIGHLY respected..much love always…

  36. Tyrone Wicks on December 11th, 2020 12:11 pm

    Congratulations Dale for over 3 decades of honorable service to the citizens of Escambia County and this nation!!

  37. Jill & Doug Murphy on December 11th, 2020 11:17 am

    Congratulations, sir! Thank you for helping my hard headed self & my parents get through my teenage years! Will always remember you & my dad hunting us skippers of school at Sikes Pipe Company. (Woodham) You had us all figured out & were always on our heels! What a ride! Congratulations on your well deserved retirement & thanks again! Your kindness and positivity will always be remembered and appreciated. <3

  38. Colleen Kealey on December 11th, 2020 11:08 am

    Way to go Dale. Thank you for your service and all the good times at Woodham

  39. Sheena St Pierre on December 11th, 2020 9:47 am

    Congratulations, hope you make many more memories in retirement! Enjoy the family time also!

  40. Carsulania Pope on December 11th, 2020 9:33 am


  41. Barbara Ward on December 11th, 2020 7:50 am

    Congratulations Dale, I hope you and Mary the best! We all love yall. Come see us.

  42. Ernest Anderson on December 11th, 2020 7:14 am

    Congratulations Officer Dale you was always nice and friendly to all the students at Woodham High. Class of ‘91

  43. Bill on December 11th, 2020 7:10 am

    Congratulations and Thanks for your many years of service

  44. Brandy Hendrix on December 11th, 2020 7:05 am

    Thank you Mr. Dale for your service!

  45. Bonnie Exner on December 11th, 2020 1:23 am

    Congratulations, Commander Tharp..initially I was not in favor of SRO in the public schools because I felt there was not enough need for wrong I was..not only were they a bridge between the students and their community
    they were a great teaching resource when teaching the 4th Amendment Search and Seizure in my CIVICS class..also loved working with his sister,DEBBIE THARP ALLTOP, our school receptionist who died way too soon of brain cancer.

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