The School Resource Officer Program is a collaborative effort by certified law enforcement officers, school administrators, educators, students, parents, the court system, and the community to offer law related educational programs in the school in an effort to reduce crime, drug abuse, and violence. The program will focus on preventing juvenile delinquency, maintaining a safe school environment, and providing a positive law enforcement presence in the school community.
The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the Ohio County Public Schools shall have a designated unit to maintain a safe and secure environment on the school campus, bridge the gap between law enforcement officers and students in order to increase positive attitudes toward law enforcement, and reduce juvenile crime.
The exclusive focus on the physical and social territory of the school is an important aspect of the SRO concept. Unlike law enforcement officers who respond to school problems as a result of calls for service or 911 calls by school personnel, the SRO knows the schools physical layout and is aware of who belongs on school property and who does not.
School Resource Officers have three main functions: law enforcement officer, presentation speaker, and advisor.
As a law enforcement officer, the SRO maintains a safe and secure school environment in which "teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe to learn."
As a presentation speaker, the SRO conducts classroom and assembly presentations pertaining to law related topics and the criminal justice system. In doing so, informs students and promotes positive attitudes regarding the role of law enforcement in society.
The SRO acts as an advisor to students, parents, teachers and staff on the law, delinquency, violence, substance abuse, child abuse and other law enforcement related issues.
The SRO may talk to students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff about problems and concerns they may have, and help them find possible solutions through referrals to counselors or appropriate social service or legal agencies for additional support and assistance.
The most effective way an SRO can accomplish these functions is to be a positive role model and mentor. Students learn from every interaction they may have with an SRO. It is essential for an SRO to be a positive role model who endorses high moral standards, exercises good judgment and discretion, is consistent, and fair, respects students, and displays a sincere concern for the school community.
School Resource Officers must maintain a professional appearance; be visible, accessible and willing to talk to students. The SRO shall attend and participate in school activities, interact positively with students and the community, taking their concerns seriously while maintaining a supportive and positive relationship with faculty and school administrators.
The SRO is an extension of his/her agency as well as the school principal’s office, as the officer’s duties are comprised of both law enforcement and education. The SRO reports to both his/her agency commander and the school principal. Although the SRO will not serve as a disciplinarian, and disciplining students will remain the responsibility of the school faculty and administrators, the SRO will serve as a means for establishing cooperation, order and safety so that learning can take place. This does not prevent the SRO from taking action in his/her official capacity.