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School Resource Officers on Duty

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Safer School, Safer Learning

Phillip Maes, Reporter

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     The school resource officers do a lot for the school and for the community. Many students, staff, and parents may not realize how much these officers go out of their way to make sure everyone at NCHS is safe. SROs (School Resource Officers) go through a lot of training just to become qualified for their job, but sometimes they still don’t get the respect they deserve.

     Some NCHS students feel that SROs take away from some of their fun, but in reality they are doing their jobs to enforce all rules and procedures so everyone here at NCHS is able to have fun and learn safely.

     The resource officer program was created to make schools a safe learning environment, and this program also provides valuable resources to staff members. The program reduces the need to call 911, the destruction of property, and the possibility of students having criminal records. It also helps to prevent student injuries by violence or overdose and increases the feeling of safety among students and staff.

     The resource officers having positive relationships with youth is important so that they are able to learn strategies that help solve problems and protect students.

     The SROs are a lot like regular officers but have a lot more responsibilities with having to create relationships with youth and develop them on a daily basis, encourage students to follow school regulations and try to reduce the juvenile delinquency rate. They have to be role models and public figures.

     NASRO (National Association of School Resorce Officers) defines resource officers as having three main roles: educator, informal counselor, and law enforcement officer. There are more than 17,000 SROs deployed in public schools nationwide while 20% of all U.S. K12 schools, public and private, are served and protected by school resource officers. According to Canada Carleton University, it is concluded that every dollar invested in the program creates a minimum of 11.13 of social and economic value.

     SROs do not just arrest students for disciplinary issues that would be handled by administrators; SROs help students avoid involvement in the juvenile justice system. In fact, SROs are a possible reason that juvenile arrests fell during a period of time.

       

   

         Requirements to be an SRO include having 3 years of street experience and a strong desire to form positive relationships with youth on a daily basis. SROs should volunteer; an officer that doesn’t desire to be an SRO should not be assigned to the job.

     SROs are the answers to a lot of issues in the school system. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives of students and staff should a school ever be in danger. SROs are highly trained and equipped so they can usually  defuse any situation without causing any panic or disruption in the school. SROs help to take worries concerning student and staff safety out of the picture of everyday school life. Students are able to feel safe and are able to give their 100% without worrying about situations that may cause disruption in their learning.

     School resource officers have a lot of issues they have to deal with: parties, bullying, drugs,acohol, etc. SROs have to be able to know when the situation is a criminal offense or if it can be handled by an administrator.

     The officer here at NCHS, Ofc. Simons, is fully dedicated to enforcing the law and improving school safety. Officer Simmons’ primary  job is to create a presence of partnership between NCHS and the Casper Police Department. He’s not here just to bust kids, he’s here to be an overall solution. If there’s a student with constantly bad behavior would a ticket set him on the right path or can he offer resources like YCC, JDC youth diversion student court help them get in the least amount of trouble but still have a consequence for their actions?

     Simons’ criminal knowledge helps a lot of staff and others deal with situations in the appropriate manner. When a student’s behavior exceeds the staff’s understanding, it’s nice to have someone that knows the law and how to defuse the situation without disruption. A lot of schools don’t operate in the confines of having to gather a lot of information to do a search or get a kid in trouble, but his intentions aren’t to get  kids in trouble but to keep kids safe and out of harm’s way.

     It’s really easy to break the rules but it’s harder to break the law and officer Simons puts that in kid’s head. They don’t just have to face school consequences if they break the law they have to face a more punishable consequence like an MIP or a ticket. Rather then getting an office referral and suspension from school, sometimes the school has nothing to do with a kid’s behavior and officer Simons has to be able to know how to deal with the situation and get the kid prepared to learn. Officer Simons works with a lot of kids, making sure they are putting in their 100% effort without having to worry about family issues or others students. He focuses primarily on keeping kids safe and letting them have all the resources they need to be successful.

     School resource officers have one of the hardest jobs having a lot of responsibilities that no one else does. When a student gets in trouble, the administrators look at him for the answer and he has nobody to ask so he has to be able to make the appropriate decision in a certain amount of time.

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