School Resource Officer (SRO)
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a component in the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) philosophy. The SRO is a resource used by the community and the schools. The SRO addresses situations in the lives of students in a forum other than the justice system.
The SRO is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of law enforcement officers within the educational environment. The officer, while at the schools, is involved in a variety of functions and programs aimed at prevention and intervention. Besides being an active and high profile law enforcement officer, the SRO is a valuable resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Another duty for the SRO is to link other service agencies, which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand-in-hand with the Principal in each school, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children.
The SRO program is a proactive approach to identifying risk factors that will help with the pressures that today's young people face. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, peer pressure, gang activity, and sex. These situations are not only in the schools, but in the community. The approach of addressing these issues only in the school, or only in the community, has not been completely effective. The police, schools, and community are now working closer together where traditionally they did not interact unless a problem arose.
The Youth Resource Officer (YRO) program is a component in the COPPS philosophy of teaching. The YRO is a resource in the community, who teaches and instructs elementary and middle school children. The YRO addresses situations by educating students on gang awareness (GREAT - Gang Resistance Education and Training). The GREAT program curriculum is composed of 13 lessons and are taught to approximately 800, 4th through 7th grade students each year.