A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a certified police officer who is assigned full-time to a school. All SRO’S are certified by the National Association of School Resource Officers and receive ongoing specialized training. The SRO is similar to a “Community Oriented Police” Officer who is a member of the community he or she serves and is aware of the special needs of his community.
The SRO is a person students and parents can turn to offer help. A person they can respect and depend upon. A person with real answers.
The SRO Program was first implemented in Flint, Michigan in 1951. Since the program’s inception it has successfully been put into practice in 35 states. While there are no nationwide statistics to reflect the number of young people SRO’S have guided away from delinquency; the general consensus of people familiar with the program is that SRO’S have proven to be a valuable, positive force in the lives of the school community, the SRO, faculty, staff and students can truly work together to build safer schools.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF SRO’S
Working with school administrators, SRO’S investigate criminal violations which involve student’s knowledge that investigations of criminal incidents will be conducted is in itself a deterrent to delinquent behavior – a primary goal of the program.
Security and safety within the school are other concerns of SRO’s. They evaluate situations and make recommendations to school administrators in reference to safety issues in the schools. the mere presence of an officer helps deter unwanted persons from frequenting campuses.
It also serves as notice to students that contraband, such as weapons and illegal substances, will not be tolerated at school.
SRO’S visit classrooms to make presentations of a law related nature such as Drug Education, Police and their role in society, the history of Law Enforcement and other related topics. SRO’S are also available as a resource for teachers in developing specialty programs tailored to specific units of study, court procedures, citizenship, self-esteem, forensic science, etc. Through classroom instruction, students gain a better understanding of the police and the importance of laws to a society.
Students are encouraged to seek the personalized attention of SRO’S. Each officer is specially trained to conduct informal, individual or group discussions. SRO’S are available for conferences with students, parents and faculty members regarding law related problems and crime prevention techniques. SRO’S are familiar with various social services and local community resources that are available for referral.
The involvement of SRO’S extends far beyond the classroom and normal workday. Officers participate in parent teacher and faculty meetings, student social and sporting events, and club projects. The presence of SRO’S tends to strengthen the student/police bonds and shows the officers’ commitment to the student, their education and safety.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
- Are not school disciplinarians. An SRO takes collective action against students only when there is a perceived violation of law.
- Promote a better confidential source of our laws; why they were enacted and their benefits.
- Serve as a confidential source of counseling to students concerning problems they face, especially as they relate to the law.
- Serve to protect the school environment and maintain an atmosphere where teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe to learn.
- Conduct classroom presentations on a variety of law related education issues.
- Help young people make more positive choices in their lives.
- Work with parents, students, educators and the community to build safe schools