The purpose of the SRO is to maintain campus safety and provide education on school campuses as part of the School Resource Officer Program. Duties and responsibilities include patrolling assigned school campuses, maintaining safety of school environment, providing education and counseling to students, participating in school/student activities, providing protection of life and property, enforcing federal, state and local laws, issuing citations and making arrests, participating in court activities, preparing documentation, and performing related tasks.
It seems most of the public has the perception that a School Resource Officer is merely a police officer working patrol division who was up-rooted one day and placed in the school environment. In fact, the ideal police officer to be placed in the schools is a specially trained, self motivated, professional oriented individual having several years of police experience and has demonstrated the ability to effectively engage the public. The officer should be of outstanding moral character, a good public speaker and have a wide variety of law enforcement training and experience. The officer must have a desire to continue training due to the new and ever changing laws relating specifically to the SRO's work environment. Certainly the School Resource Officer should enjoy working with the youth.
A School Resource Officer performs the lion's share of the necessary law enforcement function on campus. This function includes pro-active crime prevention, conducting criminal investigations, making arrests when necessary, developing strategies and crisis planning. Since the advent of the Safe Schools Act, the SRO is the recipient of mandated reporting by schools. The SRO works most closely with the building administrators (Principal and Vice-principals).
The SRO assists the classroom teacher by being an authoritative resource on law enforcement specific, and related, topics. The SRO develops and delivers a variety of lesson plans. These lesson plans cover generic law enforcement related topics such as "Search and Seizure," "Miranda" and "Law Enforcement as a Career" etc. Based on the needs of the environment, the SRO may develop and deliver specialized lesson plans such as "Date Rape, Sexual Assault and Sexual Predation by Drugs, Rights vs. Responsibilities of a Citizen, Effects of Alcohol and Other Commonly Abused Drugs, First Aid and CPR" and others.
Unsurprisingly, the action of building relationships with students, staff, administrators, the Juvenile Court system, the DA's Office, and parents is perhaps the single most important activity engaging the SRO. The quality of trust generated by relationships any officer develops on the "beat" are directly proportionate to their success. This is particularly true with the SRO. Positive relationships, created over time, yield great results in the solvability of criminal acts, the prevention of crime, successful drug interventions, drug interdictions and the ability to effectively address both criminal and non-criminal student needs. The SRO must have a close relationship with the school administrators, counselors, social workers and/or psychologists.
The SRO works during the normal school day as well as during co-curricular events. The SRO is instrumental in providing a safe environment conducive to the learning process. Students and faculty have a heightened perception of safety due to the work of the SRO. The SRO strives to improve the "working" environment for students, administrators, faculty, custodians, food service workers and others. The School Resource Officer functions as the "Chief of Police" of the school, a mentor, a positive role model and a friend.
Sergeant C.H. Bean
PHOTO TOUR To view the photos of our School Resource Officer click the icon to the left.