16.00.090 SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM (CALEA 44.2.4)
The School Resource Officer Program is designed to permit students, parents, and faculty to become acquainted with law enforcement and to build mutual trust and understanding with the community. The program will demonstrate to parents and faculty the Department’s commitment to proactive, intervention to prevent juvenile crimes and delinquency.
School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are challenged with building a relationship between the Department and students that is based on trust and mutual understanding. They are required to be available on campus on a regular basis during school hours, attend some faculty meetings, and may voluntarily participate in after school activities such as sporting events.
SRO’s provide informal counseling to individual students, groups, staff members, or parents who request or desire this help. They will also perform this function when requested to do so by an involved third party, when he or she has firsthand knowledge of
the need. Officers will also perform this role without being asked to when the need exists.
SRO’s will be primarily tasked with insuring the safety of the students and staff at their assigned school. They may also assist in providing or facilitating class instruction on a variety of topics, like Firearms Safety, Date Rape, and Criminal Law. SRO's may temporarily be reassigned to Patrol, or another division, during the summer months when school is not in session.
SRO’s also act as a resource to delinquency prevention by:
v Working closely with school truancy officers to monitor frequent violators
v Going to the truant’s residence to counsel him/her and parents about the consequences of such action. They also assist parents with other options that are available in an effort to have the student attend school on a regular basis.
v Organizing field trips to state prisons, where students are given a look at possible consequences of repeated delinquent behavior
v Working closely with the Violent Crimes Unit and officers who frequently come into contact with juvenile offenders to stay abreast of family issues that could cause delinquent behavior by students in their respective schools
SRO’s provide guidance on ethical issues in a classroom setting. Some of the issues covered include classes on what constitutes rape, with emphasis on dating situations. Other issues discussed include breaking down barriers to reporting weapons on campus, bullying issues, and respecting diversity.
SRO’s explain the role of law enforcement in society. This role is ever changing and talks are not only given to students and staff, but to the general public, with emphasis on the role of the SRO.
For the officers involved in this role, training is provided. All SRO’s attend training put on by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). They also attend various conferences dealing with school related issues and they meet once a month with peers from other departments to discuss issues.
Community Youth Programs
Members of the Department are encouraged to take an active leadership role in developing community programs for youth. They can do this through the officers assigned to schools as School Resource Officers. These same officers, when personnel staffing allows, can also work in partnership with the Park’s Department on various programs, such as the Great Summer Adventure Camp. Officers are encouraged to participate in youth related activities at sites such as the Crossroads Community Center and Ground Zero. They are also encouraged to serve as volunteer members of boards and/or committees that benefit youth.