The School Resource Program is a career law enforcement officer, with sworn authority assigned by the employing police department or agency to work in collaboration with schools and community-based organizations to address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around an elementary or secondary school; develop or expand crime prevention efforts for students; educate likely school-age victims in crime prevention and safety; develop or expand community justice initiatives for students; train students in conflict resolution, restorative justice, and crime awareness; assist in the identification of physical changes in the environment that may reduce crime in or around the school; and assist in developing school policy that addresses crime and recommend procedural changes.
SRO's promote a better understanding of our laws, why they were enacted and their benefits. They provide a visible and positive image for law enforcement. They serve as a confidential source of counseling to students concerning problems they face. They bring expertise into schools that will help young people make more positive choices in their lives. They also work to protect the school environment and to maintain an atmosphere where teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe enough to learn.
The SRO is specifically trained to perform three roles:
- law enforcement officer
- law-related counselor
- law-related education teacher
The SRO is not a security guard, or officer who has been placed temporarily in a school in response to a crisis situation but rather acts as a comprehensive resource for his/her school.