School Resource Officer
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
In 2002 the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in agreement with the Jefferson County Board of Education placed a full time deputy inside the Jefferson County High School. Seeing the positive impact on the students, staff as well as the officer, the Sheriff decided to expand the program by placing an additional deputy in the high school as well as a deputy in K-8 White Pine School, K-8 Rush Strong School, Jefferson Middle School and Maury Middle School. In 2013 Sheriff McCoig expanded the SRO's to all schools in the county bringing to total to thirteen SRO's in Jefferson County schools.
WHAT IS A SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
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 Tennessee Peace Officers Standards & Training 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 for 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.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS DUTIES
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.
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.
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.