Role Of SRO In Schools

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By federal definition, a school resource officer is a “career law enforcement officer with sworn authority, who is deployed by an employing police department or agency in a community-oriented policing assignment to work in collaboration with one or more schools” (NASRO, n.d.). School resource officers (SRO) have different and several roles that they are responsible for. Responsibilities vary from school to school, community to community, and state to state. SROs are placed in schools to be a positive presence. School violence or student disorder and misconduct problems has been the primary reason why SROs are placed in schools. The number of SROs in schools is growing. It is important to be able to understand that allocating SROs in schools …show more content…
The most classic and typical roles for SROs have been set as law enforcer and safety expert, problem solver, and educator. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to, making arrests, issuing citations to students, acting as first responders for critical incidents, answering calls for services such as taking action against unauthorized persons, responding to off campus criminal activities and problem solving activities involving students. SROs can also teach classes on topics related to policing or responsible citizenship for students, school staff, and parents. An SRO’s definition under the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act has SROs address crime, conduct issues, gangs and gang activities, and/or drug activities on and around school property. SROs also “assist in the identification of changes to the physical structure of the school or the area around the school that could help reduce crime; and assist in developing school policy that addresses crime” (James & McCallion, 2013). A school’s focus and goal is the education and safety of the teachers, administrators, and students. Schools would be opposed to an SRO program if they believe that having an SRO on school grounds would disrupt the learning environment, portray the school as being unsafe, or upset students. On the other hand, law enforcement staff is known to be public safety oriented. Their initial response to any issue that might involve police in schools might focus on increasing law enforcement’s presence at the school as a means of deterring criminal

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